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Magda, Sao Paulo, Brazil - March 08, 2006: Three cowboys riding on horse is herding a group of Nelore cattle on a field in a cattle farm in Magda, county of Sao Paulo
Gauchos herding cattle near Magda, Brazil. Image credit: alffoto / iStock

Brief: Brazil pledges to cut 1.1bn tons of ag-related carbon emissions by 2030

October 25, 2021

  • The Brazilian government has announced a plan to cut carbon emissions from its farming sector by 1.1 billion tons over the next nine years, Argus Media reports.
  • Named ABC+, the plan includes reforestation and afforestation schemes, adoption of regenerative farming methods, and accelerated slaughter to reduce lifetime enteric methane emissions from cattle.
  • Brazil’s agriculture ministry said the plans will cover an estimated 73 million hectares.

Why it matters:

Brazil is home to what is by far the world’s largest commercial cattle herd, with 214 million heads as of 2018. Agriculture, including livestock production, accounted for over a quarter of Brazil’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, according to thinktank Observatorio do Clima.

The Brazilian agriculture ministry will subsidize interest rates for operations which adopt emissions-reducing practices under ABC+. For livestock farms, such projects include semi-confinement of grass-fed cattle prior to slaughter, and adding methane-reducing supplements to feed.

DSM’s methane-busting cattle feed approved in Brazil, the world’s biggest beef exporter – read more here

For crop growers, projects covered by the scheme will include no-till farming and direct planting that reduces soil erosion, fertilizer use, and fuel consumption, while enhancing soil carbon sequestration.

ABC+ is the follow-up to a similar scheme run by the Brazilian government between 2010 and 2020. The country’s agriculture ministry claimed that the earlier initiative saw ag-related carbon emissions cut by 170 million tons across 52 million hectares, exceeding its original target by 46%.

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