April 13th and 14th, 2023 | Santiago, Chile
As a way to support international collaboration in reducing methane emissions in food systems, Chile and Spain will host the First Ministerial Conference on Low Emission Food Systems, which will bring together the Ministers of Agriculture of the countries to discuss the potential for further reducing emissions from the sector while promoting the enabling conditions to transition to more resilient food systems that contributes to the fight against climate change.
1. Promote a high-level dialogue to share global perspectives on methane reduction and low-emission food systems. Strengthen the articulation of ministers and international organizations aligned with the ambition of reducing methane emissions in the food sector during this decade,
2. Share and promote the implementation of successful experiences, promote capacity building and innovation, and mobilize finance in methane mitigation, while boosting and highlighting the role of mitigation efforts in climate policies at the agri-food level.
3. Position agriculture as a relevant sector with the potential to offer innovative solutions to the climate crisis.
4. Build and agree on a Declaration of principles and commitments setting concrete actions going forward.
The GMP Food and Agriculture Pathway pursues climate and food security goals through actions that improve agricultural productivity, reduce food loss and waste, and improve the viability of agriculture in the future. Initial components of the GMP Food and Agriculture Pathway include:
• Boosting Support for Smallholder Farmers
• Increasing Innovation
• Highlighting Ambitious National Actions
The GMP Waste Pathway will pursue reducing emissions across the solid waste value chain, from upstream sources to downstream disposal sites. The main components of the GMP Waste Pathway include:
• Enhancing Measurement and Tracking
• Scaling up Subnational Action
• Reducing Food Loss and Waste:
• Regional Platforms
• Mobilizing Investment
Methane (CH4) is a short-lived greenhouse gas that accounts for about half of the net increase in global mean temperature. In 20 years CH4 has 80 times more global warming potential than CO2. Anthropogenic methane emissions mainly come from fossil fuel production and use, waste, and agriculture sectors.
A fast reduction of these emissions can achieve short-term gains during this decade and achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, content in the Paris Agreement. For this purpose it is essential to achieve deep reductions in CH4 emissions across all sectors by 2030, achieving the Global Methane Pledge.
In agriculture, the main sources of methane emissions are the enteric fermentation processes of ruminant cattle, manure management and rice cultivation. Altogether, agriculture is responsible for approximately 40% of global methane emissions, being the sector that contributes the most to methane emissions.
Although methane emissions from the global agriculture sector have shown a downward trend in the last decade4 attributed to structural changes and improvements in productivity and efficiency in some regions, challenges remain in many parts of the world.
On the other aspect, waste is responsible for roughly 20 percent of global methane emissions from human activities, and dramatically scaling up efforts to reduce these emissions can deliver important health and economic development benefits.
As part of the international efforts to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, and achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, in November 2021 during COP26 in Glasgow, the Global Methane Pledge initiative was launched, where countries were invited to take voluntary actions to contribute to the collective goal of reducing global CH4 emissions by at least 30% compared to 2020 levels, by 2030. The initiative is currently supported by 150 countries, representing more than 50% of global methane emissions and over two-thirds of the global GDP.
This collective effort could contribute to eliminating over 0.2˚C warming by 2050. This is a global, not a national reduction target and helps to prevent more than 8 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from reaching the atmosphere annually by 2030.
The Pledge also recognizes the essential roles that the private sector, development banks, financial institutions, and philanthropy play to support the implementation of the Pledge and welcomes their efforts and engagement.
Participants joining the Pledge commit to moving towards using the highest tier IPCC good practice inventory methodologies, as well as working to continuously improve the accuracy, transparency, consistency, comparability, and completeness of national greenhouse gas inventory reporting under the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement, and to provide greater transparency in key sectors.