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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture









The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Meeting the challenges of food security and climate change

The Climate Change Act (2008) commits the UK to 80% statutory greenhouse gases emissions reduction by 2050 across all sectors of the economy. Farming and land use are responsible for about 7.4% of total UK emissions. Delivering the expectation that we should gain the increases in food production required from a growing population, while reducing agricultural emissions and adapting to climate change presents a unique scientific challenge this meeting proposes to explore. The meeting will also strive to reconcile the need to increase food production with the inevitable pressure on GHG emissions, at the same time as achieving a balance through land management and displacing fossil fuels with bioenergy feedstocks while enhancing carbon capture and sequestration.

Biographies and audio recordings are available below.

Download the post-meeting report, produced by the organising group.

This meeting was supported by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Biosciences Knowledge Transfer Network; Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network; Living With Environmental Change; National Farmers Union; Natural Environment Research Council; Technology Strategy Board.

Event organisers

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Schedule of talks

Day One - Overview and Global Considerations

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Professor Sir David Read FRS

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Day One Introduction

Professor John Beddington CMG FRS, Government Office for Science, UK

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Food security and agricultural development: the challenges ahead

Professor Sir Gordon Conway KCMG FRS

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Greenhouse gas emissions associated with nitrogen fertiliser - lessons from a situation of nitrogen excess in China

Professor David Powlson, Rothamsted Research

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More food, more bioenergy and fewer greenhouse gas emissions - is it possible?

Professor Steve Long, University of Illinois

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Manure happens: the realities of feeding billions of human carnivores while trying to stabilise atmospheric greenhouse gases

Dr Eric Davidson, Woods Hole Research Centre

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Potential for agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation globally and in the UK

Professor Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen

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Trade-offs and opportunities for carbon negative grazing systems

Dr Jean-François Sousanna

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The growing land dilemma: treading more gently, but producing more

Dr Henry Janzen, Agriculture and Agri-Food

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Livestock agriculture - balancing food security and greenhouse gas emissions

Dr Sinclair Mayne, Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

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Emissions and mitigation options of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (with Dr Dave Chadwick and Dr Tom Misselbrook)

Professor Keith Goulding, Rothamsted Research, UK

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Emissions and mitigation options of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (with Professor Keith Goulding, and Dr Tom Misselbrook)

Dr Dave Chadwick, Rothamsted Research

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Emissions and mitigation options of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (with Professor Keith Goulding, Dr Dave Chadwick)

Dr Tom Misselbrook, Rothamsted Research

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Day Two - Regional, National and Process Considerations

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Day Two Introduction

Lord Krebs of Wytham Kt FRS, Jesus College, University of Oxford

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The role of agriculture and land management in the GHG balance of Europe

Professor E-Detlef Schulze, Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

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Land-use and balancing greenhouse gas emissions from food production (with Dr Angela Karp)

Professor Ian Crute, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

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Land-use and balancing greenhouse gas emissions from food production (with Professor Ian Crute)

Dr Jeff Karp, Brigham and Women's Hospital - Harvard Medical School, USA

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Tradeoffs and opportunities for bioenergy and land use at local to global scales

Professor Jeremy Woods, Imperial College London

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Developing efficient emissions budgets from UK agriculture using abatement cost curves

Professor Dominic Moran, Scottish Agricultural College

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UK agriculture and climate change: socio-legal perspectives

Professor Philip Lowe, UK Research Councils' Rural Economy and Landuse (Relu) programme

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Reporting back from breakout session

Squaring the circle? Can we reconcile agricultural greenhouse gas reductions with productive and sustainable landuse?

Professor Chris Pollock CBE, Aberystwyth University

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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK