Global Spotlight Report #60: Agriculture Sector Analysis


Post 60 provides information on the status of emissions and production from the agriculture sector in 18 leading greenhouse gas emitting countries. It was developed drawing on data from Climate Trace. (

Climate Scorecard Country Managers, using Climate Trace data, provided the number of tonnes of CO2 that the agriculture sector in their countries emitted in 2021. This also provided an analysis of the different agricultural sector sub-sectors that the Climate Trace Inventory page offers— cropland fires, enteric fermentation, manure management, rice cultivation, synthetic fertilizer application. They provided an analysis of which sub-sector has the highest emissions, why that might be so, and what steps can be taken to reduce emissions in that sub-sector.

In addition they added some big picture framing of each country’s agriculture sector; i.e. what are its major agricultural products, in what regions are they produced, how big a portion of the overall economy does the agriculture sector represent, and are the country’s agricultural products used mainly for export or domestic production.

The Table below summarizes the percentage of global agricultural sector emissions that each of the countries that Climate Scorecard covers provides. Full country reports follow the table.

Table: Country Agriculture Sector % of 2021 Global CO2e Emissions

Country % of 2021 Global Agriculture Sector CO2e
  • 1.8% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • 9.8% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • .98% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • Does not track this statistic (but decreasing Ag sector emissions as Ag sector decreases its importance in China’s development)
European Union
  • 15.3% of 2021 Total Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • 1.1 % of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • .89% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • 12.7% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • 2.4% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • .47% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • 3.5% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • 4.9% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
Saudi Arabia
  • .11% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
South Africa
  • .54% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • .64% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
  • .90% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
United Kingdom
  • .73% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions
United States
  • 5.7% of 2021 Global Ag Sector CO2e Emissions

Country Reports

Australia’s Agriculture Sector Contributed 1.8% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

Australia is a major agricultural producer and exporter. Agricultural production covers 55% of the nation’s landmass (427 million hectares in 2020) and accounts for 24% of water extractions (2,746 gigalitres in 2019-2020). In total 12% of Australia’s goods and services exports were agricultural related and the sector as a whole account for 2.5% of national…

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Brazil’s Agriculture Sector Is Responsible for 9.8% of Global Agricultural Emissions

According to the Climate Trace inventory, Brazil’s agriculture sector emitted 2021 1.35 billion tons of CO2e20, which corresponds to 9.8% of the total global emissions of the sector. Enteric ferment represents 79.11% of the agricultural sector’s emissions.Compared to the data from Brazil’s Climate Observatory, a national source with reliable accuracy shows that in 2021 the…

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Canada’s Agriculture Sector Contributed .69% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

Canada’s agriculture sector’s net greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) have remained relatively stable since 1990 while its CO2 equivalent gases have varied. Primary emissions (excluding fossil fuels emissions – another sector) are attributed to crop production, such as cereals and oilseeds, and livestock production, (beef, dairy, poultry and swine). Climate Trace, a global non-profit coalition tracking…

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Decreasing Importance of the Agricultural Sector in China’s Development is Reflected in Decreasing CO2 and NOX Emissions from Agriculture

For millennia, China has been a rural, agriculture-based country. While 56.1% or 5.29 mio km2 (2020) of China’s landmass is still considered agricultural land, the importance of agriculture for the country’s development has been steadily decreasing over the past decades. There are currently about 3.9 mio km2 of pasture and between 1.3. – 1.6 mio…

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The EU Agriculture Sector Contributed 15.3% of Total Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

The EU is one of the world’s leading producers and net exporters of agriculture, making it unsurprising that agriculture makes up approximately 10% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. The EU traditionally exports more agricultural products than it imports; in 2020, agriculture comprised 9.5% of the EU’s total exports while it comprised 7.1% of the…

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France’s Agricultural Sector Produced 1.1% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

Agriculture is fundamental to the French way of life at home as well as to its identity abroad. As of 2020 in France, usable agricultural areas represent 269 000 km² or 49% of the country. These are the most recent figures made available by the 2020 Agricultural census, a global data collection process guided by the FAO…

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Germany’s Agriculture Sector Contributed .89% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

Despite its high population density, Germany is among the top four agricultural producers in the European Union – producing 50 billion EUR worth of agricultural products each year. As the EU’s largest milk producer, Germany dedicates about 50% of its agricultural land use to grazing and feeding the country’s 200 million farm animals (producing milk,…

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India’s Agriculture Sector Produced 12.7% of Global Agricultural CO2e Emissions in 2021

India has one of the largest agricultural sectors in the world. Agriculture is a primary source of livelihood for about 58 percent of its population. With a population of over 1.4 billion people, India has the world’s largest cattle herd (buffaloes); the largest area planted for wheat, rice, and cotton; and the largest producer of…

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Indonesia’s Agriculture Sector Contributed 2.4% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

Indonesia’s agricultural sector is made up of large private and state-owned plantations and smallholder production modes. The large plantations of palm oil and rubber are exported, while the smallholder farmers produce rice, soybeans, corn, fruits, and vegetables. As cited by the Ministry of Agriculture, Central, East, and West Java are three of the largest rice-producing…

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Japan’s Agriculture Sector Contributed .47% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

The third-largest economy in the world, Japan accounts for 4.1% of the global GDP (IMF, 2022). And since 2015, its GHG emissions have been steadily declining, reaching 1.21 billion tonnes of CO2e100 in 2021, or 2.2% of the world, or half of the GDP share. In 2021, the agriculture sector in Japan produced 26.8M CO2e100…

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Mexico’s Agriculture Sector Contributed 3.5% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

Mexico ranks #11 in global food production, which means that agriculture represents a very attractive market for the economy, but at the same time; a trigger for environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions. In this article, we will analyze the trend of gases emitted from 2015 to 2021 in the agriculture sector. The data…

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Nigeria Emitted 4.9% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

Nigeria’s agricultural sector plays an important role in the country’s economy. In the third quarter of 2022, it contributed 27.55% to nominal GDP and 29.67% to overall real GDP. The sector consists of crop production, livestock, forestry and fishing. Maize, cassava, guinea corn, yam beans, millet and rice are major crops produced in Nigeria. They are…

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Saudi Arabia Contributed .11% of Global Agricultural Sector Emissions in 2021

Saudi Arabia emissions (2015-2021) from enteric methane production (source: Climate Trace)The Saudi agricultural sector produced 42.8 M tons of CO2e 100 and 0.082 M tons of CO2 in 2021The carbon footprint of Saudi agricultural activities in Saudi Arabia has declined from 198.03K tons of CO2 in 2015 to 82.40K tons of CO2 in 2021. The…

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South Africa Contributed .54% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

Agriculture contributed approximately 2.47% to the GDP of South Africa in 2021. The agricultural sector has great potential with the climatic conditions of the country ranging from subtropical to Mediterranean. South Africa’s agricultural sector is highly diverse, with the country producing almost all major grains, oilseeds, fruits, sugar, wine, and vegetables. South Africa has more…

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Spain’s Agriculture Sector Emitted .64% of Global Agricultural Sector Emissions in 2021

Despite the critical focus of Spain’s climate policy and action understandably being directed to its two most carbon-intensive industries, energy, and transport, jointly making up about 50% of the country’s total carbon emissions, the agriculture industry has bizarrely been left largely excluded from the environmental spotlight. Yet, contributing to around 3% of GDP, the agricultural…

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Turkey Contributed .90% of Global Agriculture Sector Emissions in 2021

Historically, the agriculture sector has been Turkey’s largest employer and a major contributor to the country’s GDP, although its share of the economy has fallen consistently over several decades. In 1999, it accounted for 15% of GDP, while employing about half of the labour force. Although the sector has grown over time, the growth has…

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The UK Emittee .73% of Global Agricultural Sector Emissions in 2021

In 2021, the agriculture sector of the United Kingdom emitted 0.02 M TONNES CO₂, and 42.0 M TONNES CO2e100 (Climate Trace). Agriculture contributes to nitrous oxide (N₂O), methane (CH₄), and carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. It is a significant source of nitrous oxide and methane emissions in the United Kingdom, accounting for 69% of total nitrous…

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The US Agriculture Sector Contributed to 5.7% of Global Agricultural Emissions in 2021

The United States agriculture sector is composed of nearly 2.1 million predominantly privately owned farms. Agriculture production occurs in all 50 states across the nation, while crop production is largely concentrated in California and the Midwest, with livestock production scattered throughout the country. In 2021, agriculture, food, and related industries contributed to 5.4% of the…

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