Integrated Nutrient Management as a Key Contributor to China’s Low-Carbon Agriculture

David Norse, David Powlson, Yuelai Lu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


China has drawn up plans to move to a low-carbon growth path as part of its contribution to global climate change mitigation. It aims to decrease national carbon intensity (the ratio of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of economic activity measured as gross domestic product (GDP)) in 2020 to 40-45% of its 2005 value largely by increasing energy efficiency in the industry and transport sectors. At present agriculture is not a formal part of the low-carbon plans in spite of the research findings presented in this chapter, which indicate that in 2007 agriculture and the agrochemical industry accounted for over 10% of China’s total fossil energy use, and 19-22% of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Moreover, most of the measures to mitigate agricultural greenhouse gases (GHGs) have low or negative costs because of the high economic and environmental benefits they provide whereas carbon abatement costs in most other sectors of the economy are up to US$100 per tonne of carbon eliminated (McKinsey 2009). Some of the measures will also increase carbon sequestration but the net contribution is likely to be modest (see next section).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate Change Mitigation and Agriculture
EditorsEva Wollenberg, Marja-Liisa Tapio-Bistrom, Maryanne Grieg-Gran, Alison Nihart
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780203144510
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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