IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Recipe for a Livable Planet: Achieving Net Zero Emissions in the Agrifood System

8th May, 2024 Environment

Recipe for a Livable Planet: Achieving Net Zero Emissions in the Agrifood System

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement is not intended.


  • World Bank Report titled "Recipe for a Livable Planet: Achieving Net Zero Emissions in the Agrifood System" outlines actions for countries to enhance food security, and climate resilience, and protect vulnerable populations during the transition to net-zero emissions.

Findings of the report

Impact of Solar Pump Adoption in India:

  • Replacing a quarter of India’s 8.8 million diesel irrigation pumps with solar pumps could lead to a reduction in agrifood emissions by 11.5 million tonnes annually.
  • This reduction surpasses the combined global emissions prevented by electric vehicles and solar panels in 2020, as per a new World Bank report on agrifood system emissions reduction.

Global Agrifood Emissions:

  • The world’s agrifood system emits about 16 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases annually, around one-third of global emissions, with projections indicating further growth.

India's Emission Profile:

  • In India, 60% of agrifood emissions originate from the farm gate, with enteric fermentation being a major contributor due to livestock inefficiency.
  • Despite low emission intensity in rice production, India's global rank as the second-largest rice producer contributes considerable emissions (4%).

Renewable Energy Adoption in India:

  • India has already deployed over 272,000 solar-powered irrigation systems by December 2020, indicating the potential for significant emissions reduction in the agri-food sector.
  • The report suggests that 80% of agrifood emission mitigation potential in India could be achieved through cost-saving measures.

Top Agrifood Emitters:

  • The top ten agrifood emitters include China, Brazil, India, the United States, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Russian Federation, Canada, Pakistan, and Argentina.
  • Of these, two (Canada and US) are high-income countries (HIC), one (Democratic Republic of Congo) is low-income country (LIC) and the rest are middle-income countries.

Per Capita Emissions:

  • While populous countries like China and India rank high in total emissions, their per capita emissions are relatively lower compared to high-income countries.
  • HICs exhibit the highest per capita emissions due to resource-intensive development models, with the US being a significant historical emitter.

Way ahead:

  • The report emphasizes the significant role of the agrifood system in climate change and its potential for low-cost emissions reduction. Investments are crucial to halve agrifood emissions and meet Net Zero goals. Annual investments will need to increase to $260 billion a year to cut in half agrifood emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero emissions by 2050.
  • Investments in emissions reduction would yield over $4 trillion in benefits, including improved human health, food security, job creation, and carbon retention in forests and soils.
  • The report emphasizes the need to redirect agricultural subsidies towards emissions reduction initiatives and increase financing for Net Zero targets.
  • High-income countries can support low- and middle-income countries to adopt low-emission farming methods and technologies and shift subsidies away from high-emission food sources.
  • Middle-income countries have a crucial role in reducing emissions through greener practices like livestock and rice emission reduction, soil health improvement, and efficient land use.
  • Low-income countries can pursue climate-smart opportunities for greener economies, including forest preservation and restoration to mitigate agrifood emissions.
  • Preserving and restoring forests would promote sustainable economic development in low-income countries, given that more than half of their agrifood emissions come from clearing forests to produce food.




Q. "Analyze India's emission profile in the agrifood system, highlighting the major sources of emissions and the country's efforts in renewable energy adoption."( 250 words)