Fertiliser’s Modest Impact on Climate Change

Published: Wed 27 Jul 2011 02:14 PM
July 27, 2011
Fertiliser’s Modest Impact on Climate Change
The fertiliser industry can play an important role in limiting the additional amount of greenhouse gas emissions that will arise from the need to supply food to the world’s growing population.
In the July issue of Fertiliser Matters, the fertiliser industry quotes International Fertiliser Association data and analysis which says globally
• Fertiliser production and use contributes a modest 3 percent to climate changing greenhouse gas emissions, yet contributes to almost half of global food production
• Agriculture emissions make up about 12 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions and
• Emissions from deforestation and land use change ‘equal or exceed’ those for agricultural.
“It is an inescapable fact that to meet the needs of the world’s growing population we need to increase food production, by possibly as much as 70 percent,” said Fert Research’s Technical Director, Dr Philip Mladenov.
“Through the use of fertilisers we can contribute to greater output from land already under cultivation.
“This will help reduce the pressure for further deforestation and land use change to agriculture, and in the process limit the further release of additional greenhouse gases from this source.”
Dr Mladenov said feeding the world of 2050, when the population is estimated to reach 9 billion, requires a globally coordinated response.
New Zealand needs to maximise its food production on existing cultivated land so other countries can retain more of their forests and natural environment.”

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