For An Effective Global Carbon Policy

0
57

The health crisis we are experiencing comes from afar, from the collapse of biodiversity and the pressure we are exerting on the ecosystems which have favored the outbreak of the disease. We read here and there, from the explosion in traffic of air transport which accelerates its distribution, the reduction in hospital resources, lack of foresight in the face of the pandemic risk, insufficient international cooperation in the field of health, which made severe containment necessary despite its economic consequences and social. This crisis, therefore, reveals in a brutal and sudden manner the limits of choices made quietly which are nevertheless choices of society when they increase the vulnerability of contemporary societies.

The cessation of industrial activity and transport has also led to rediscovering the weight of agricultural spraying and wood heating in the emissions of fine particles, the level of which remained higher than expected. This crisis has, therefore, revealed our need to increase our resilience, to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the transformation of agricultural practices, the optimization of wood uses, while having local productions, in particular for our basic necessities, starting with agricultural and agri-food products. Learning the lessons of the crisis, therefore, supposes accelerating the ecological transition and rethinking agricultural policy in this light, thus finally proposing a real living carbon policy.

The strategies for reducing our carbon emissions most often draw attention to fossil carbon used in energy. However, a significant portion of the carbon emitted each year comes from another source, the “living carbon” cycle produced by photosynthesis.

Agriculture, forestry, and livestock thus account for more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Their emissions are above all composed of methane and nitrous oxide released by agriculture and livestock, and CO2 de-stocking caused by deforestation and soil reversal or erosion. To stem the risk of warming of more than 2 ° C, it is, therefore, necessary to treat both the fossilized carbon of the energy and industrial system and the living carbon of the food chains and the forest. Living carbon is also involved in reducing GHG emissions since it allows atmospheric CO2 to be stored.

India emitted 2,299 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018. Agriculture and waste management released more than 800Mt in the form of methane and nitrous oxide; agriculture and forestry simultaneously removed 40 Mt from the atmosphere, mainly through the growth of trees in forests. All other things being equal, the national carbon sink therefore only absorbs just over 40% of living carbon emissions. Carbon neutrality is still a long way off for agriculture. 

It is therefore not possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to increase carbon storage by photosynthesis without building a living carbon policy, without thinking globally, the use of land as the effects of our choice on biodiversity and human health.

A living carbon policy has several dimensions concerning agriculture, livestock, forestry, and biomass.

Agriculture must be oriented towards different practices, which supposes support for farmers and the evolution of the national agricultural policy on the environmental lines. Territorial transition contracts can prove useful in promoting the transition to agroecology. Ecosystem services provided by farms must be remunerated to guide good practices.

In animal husbandry, changing practices in favor of animal welfare and the systematic introduction of legumes in farm animal feed would have a beneficial effect on soil quality and the nitrogen cycle.

The forest provides a global service for sequestering carbon and preserving biodiversity. Voluntary reforestation must complement a policy of free development of our forests.

Finally, attention must be paid to the environmental impact of energy recovery from biomass. Too intensive use of wood energy is incompatible with carbon storage and good land use. Anaerobic digestion produces positive effects in a short circuit and with small installations.

The health crisis we are experiencing comes from afar: from the collapse of biodiversity and the pressure we are exerting on the ecosystems which have favored the outbreak of the disease, we read here and there, from the explosion in traffic air transport which accelerates its distribution, the reduction in hospital resources, lack of foresight in the face of the pandemic risk, insufficient international cooperation in the field of health, which made severe containment necessary despite its economic consequences and social. This crisis, therefore, reveals in a brutal and sudden manner the limits of choices made quietly, which are nevertheless choices of society when they increase the vulnerability of contemporary societies. 

The nature of politics and the inclination of the government cannot be ignored, in our country and all around the world. Only recently, the EIA Draft Resolution, 2020 introduced by The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for consultation is receiving widespread protests from activists and environmental experts. 

The cessation of industrial activity and transport has also led to rediscovering the weight of agricultural spraying and wood heating in the emissions of fine particles, the level of which remained higher than expected.

This crisis has, therefore, revealed our need to increase our resilience, to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the transformation of agricultural practices, the optimization of wood uses, while having local productions, in particular for our basic necessities, starting with agricultural and agri-food products.

Learning the lessons of the crisis, therefore, presupposes accelerating the ecological transition and rethinking agricultural policy in this light, therefore finally proposing a real living carbon policy. This note intends to contribute to this objective. 

READ  Amidst slow growth, UPI crosses half a billion transaction volume in November

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.