Canada is a major producer and exporter of agricultural products. Farmers are already feeling the direct impacts of climate change, but dispersed operations and difficult-to-track emissions make this sector one of the most challenging to decarbonize.
Accounting for 11% of national GDP, agriculture and agri-food is a major contributor to the Canadian economy. Four-fifths of emissions stem from agricultural practices (particularly manure and enteric emissions from live-stock production, and nitrogen fertilizers), with the remaining fifth related to on-farm energy use (fossil fuels combustion).
Three elements are critical to move agri-food systems towards net zero: Displacing fossil fuel end-use on the farm (and throughout the food industry), reforming cultivation practices to reduce nitrogen inputs and improve soil health, and tackling emissions from animal agriculture.