Agriculture provides food, fiber, fuels, and jobs. And yet, growing food directly results in large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, including from fertilizers, which result in emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, and livestock, which produce methane from their digestive process and from manure. Rice paddies also produce large volumes of methane. Direct agricultural emissions are projected to increase by nearly 30 percent between 2005 and 2030. Agriculture also results in indirect emissions associated with clearing grasslands and forests for agricultural land. The United States is the world’s fifth-largest source of land use emissions, which are split between livestock (60 percent) and croplands (40 percent).

With growing populations and a worldwide increase in meat consumption, controlling agricultural emissions will be a huge challenge – but one we must meet in order to grow more food while reducing the emissions associated with agriculture. By increasing efficiency, “climate-smart” agricultural practices reduce the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from farming, without reducing the productivity of agriculture.


IN THE UNITED STATES, we aim to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. agriculture by 20% by 2020 and demonstrate the feasibility of such action to other major agricultural nations.

Where we focus


The Climate and Land Use Alliance aims to improve the environmental performance of agriculture, while also ensuring a thriving agriculture and food system that meets nutrition, employment, and economic development needs.

In the United States, the Alliance focuses on reducing agricultural emissions and increasing the potential for agricultural lands to sequester carbon. Progress in the U.S. could serve as a model for other countries with intensive agricultural practices.

The United States Initiative focuses on:

  • Creating a model system within the U.S. for reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing carbon sequestration through federal and state policies and private sector purchasing policies


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