Climate-Smart Agriculture in Guangdong, China
While China has achieved tremendous success over recent decades in increasing agricultural production and feeding its population, this success has come at the cost of significant environmental degradation. Agriculture in China is a major source of air, land, and water pollution. China’s agri-food system also generates more GHG emissions than any other country in the world and accounts for more than 14 percent of its total GHG emissions.10 The sector releases substantial amounts of CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide, which trap up to 25 and 300 times the heat of CO2, respectively. When it comes to agricultural production, the largest sources of GHG emissions are synthetic fertilizers, livestock manure, and enteric fermentation from ruminant livestock, at 18, 18, and 24 percent, respectively. Poor agriculture practices—such as excessive fertilizer and pesticide use, and mismanaged livestock waste—are also the leading cause of water pollution, affecting sources for drinking, recreation, crops, and fisheries. Improved manure management, dietary changes, more efficient fertilizer use, and reducing waste in the food system could contribute to important emissions reductions from the sector.