Monitoring and mitigating of greenhouse gases

The European farms and (agro)forests of the future must emit as little greenhouse gases as possible. But how to realize this? Agriculture contributes to greenhouse gases emissions (and also carbon sequestration) in a variety of ways. For example, fertilisers are converted into nitrous oxide (N2O), cattle produce methane (CH4) and tillage techniques lead to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Funded research projects

In 2016, the FACCE-ERA-GAS consortium pooled resources to set up the call ‘Monitoring and mitigating of greenhouse gases from agri- and silvi-culture. The programme (2017-2020) now finances ten research projects, involving 71 project partners from 39 different research institutes and SME’s across 13 European countries, New Zealand and the United States. The partners develop strategies, policy instruments and methods to monitor and mitigate greenhouse gases emissions.

The aims of the research projects vary from increasing the precision of carbon stock change estimates in European forests and soils, to adapting the diets of ruminants and improving soil management. The partner institutes are jointly exploring options for pH control and fertilisation such as liming, that will not increase greenhouse gas emissions. They are also assessing the potential for upscaling best practices across Europe, using soil maps and calculation models, and together with policymakers, they are identifying suitable policy instruments to promote these practices.

Further research focuses on livestock production 

The second joint call of FACCE ERA-GAS focuses on smart mitigation of gas emissions from livestock production. Themes include comparison of animal production systems with respect to emissions, evaluation of the feed chain, manure management and reducing nitrogen excretion.

In two workshops, in 2016 and 2018, experts have identified research questions and potential solutions that are most challenging and urgent. The call, launched end of 2018, is implemented together with FACCE ERA-NET SusAN and ICT AGRI2.

The total call budget was 14, 1 Million Euro, co-funded by the European Commission and New Zealand, represented by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

FACCE ERA-GAS has successfully conducted the first and second research programme meetings, and now is looking forward to the research output of the projects.