Sustainable agriculture

Agriculture and climate change: impacts, mitigation and adaptation



Agriculture is one of the few sectors that can both contribute to mitigation and sequestration of carbon emissions and accounting for agriculture’s carbon footprint is necessary, particularly if agriculture is included in greenhouse gas reduction commitments. However, the range and variability of estimates, and the complexity and uncertainty of accounting for indirect land use change remain to be resolved.

Policies will play a role in enhancing the ability of agriculture to adapt to climate change, while also contributing to other environmental goals. Work in the OECD will continue to support the process following the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 


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Latest reports


Modelling Policy Coherence Between Adaptation, Mitigation and Agricultural Productivity
OECD Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries Papers, No. 111

This paper develops theoretical and quantitative analysis to identify the potential synergies and trade-offs inherent in various policy instruments that address agricultural productivity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and water quality objectives’


Synergies and trade-offs between adaptation, mitigation and agricultural productivity : A synthesis report
OECD Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries Papers, No. 110

This report develops quantitative and qualitative frameworks to test the possibility of systematically assessing a range of policies and their intended and unintended effects. The analysis spans the three policy objectives of enhanced productivity, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation


Overcoming barriers to the adoption of climate-friendly practices in agriculture 
OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 101

This report, based on a comprehensive review of the literature, analyses barriers that may prevent farmers from adopting climate-friendly practices. A series of recommendations are made to properly identify the types of barriers and to select the right instruments that would work to implement effective policy solutions.

Synergies et arbitrages entre productivité agricole et adaptation au changement climatique et atténuation : étude de cas sur la France

Ce document vise à déterminer si les institutions et les politiques agricoles et non agricoles françaises conduisent à des synergies ou à des arbitrages entre objectifs de croissance de la productivité agricole et objectifs d’adaptation au changement climatique et d’atténuation des émissions de gaz à effet de serre.


Synergies and trade-offs between agricultural productivity and climate change mitigation and adaptation: Netherlands case study

This paper assesses whether existing policies in the Netherlands create synergies or trade-offs between agricultural productivity growth, climate change adaptation and mitigation goals.


Cost-Effectiveness of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Measures for Agriculture: A Literature Review

Water risk hotspots for agriculture 
OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 96

This report analyses trends in agriculture for the US Southwest region, one of the most water stressed and productive agricultural regions in the world expected to face further water shortages in the future due to climate change and continued growth.

Cost-Effectiveness of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Measures for Agriculture: A Literature Review

Cost-Effectiveness of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Measures for Agriculture: A Literature Review 
OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 89

This paper reviews the international literature on the cost-effectiveness of supply-side mitigation measures that can reduce the emissions intensity of agriculture while maintaining or increasing production. The results suggest that measures based on fertiliser use efficiency, cattle breeding, and potentially improving energy efficiency in mobile machinery, are often considered highly cost-effective mitigation measures across countries.

Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: A Role for Public Policies

Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: A Role for Public Policies 
OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 85

Farmers will undertake many adaptation actions to meet changing climate conditions and will often do so without any government intervention. However, when such actions provide both private and public benefits, the public sector may play a role in how these are developed. This report aims to establish a framework to help identify specific actions that governments could take in this respect and that could avoid sending signals leading to non-adaptation or maladaptation.

Modelling Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture Modelling Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture 
OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 70

This paper investigates how climate change can affect agricultural production and proposes some adaptation measures that could be undertaken to mitigate the negative effects of climate change while enhancing the positive ones. The paper stresses the importance of planned adaptation measures and highlights possible strategies for reducing risk and improving resilience. To quantify the possible effects of climate change and the effects of adaptation measures this study uses the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT).

Climate Change, Water and Agriculture Mitigating Droughts and Floods in Agriculture : Policy Lessons and Approaches  

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, notably of droughts and floods to which the agriculture sector is particularly exposed. While agricultural productivity growth and policy development have allowed to better cope with these risks and reduce overall impacts on the sector and commodity markets, there is substantial room to improve policy responses and co-ordinate across policy domains, including with respect to water rights and allocation, weather and hydrological information, innovation and education, and insurance and compensation schemes. 


Climate Change, Water and Agriculture Climate Change, Water and Agriculture: Towards Resilient Systems 

The main objectives of this report are to review the main linkages between climate change, water and agriculture; to identify and discuss adaptation strategies for a better use and conservation of water resources in the agricultural sector in the context of climate change; and to provide guidance to help decision makers on an appropriate mix of policies and market approaches to address the interaction between agriculture and water systems under climate change. 

Farmer Behaviour, Agricultural Management and Climate Change Farmer Behaviour, Agricultural Management and Climate Change

Based on a review of the literature, the study examines the broad range of factors driving farm management decisions that can improve the environment, including drawing on the experiences of OECD countries. The aim of the report is to provide policy makers with policy options that would contribute to a sustainable and resilient agricultural sector, in particular in the context of climate change.

Climate Change and Agriculture Climate Change and Agriculture: Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation

The aim of the report is to help guide policy makers in the design of policy measures to address climate change issues in the agricultural sector. A particular feature of the report is the analysis of marginal abatement cost curves – which show the relative costs of achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emission through implementing different actions in the agricultural sector.


Related OECD work & contact

Find more OECD data, analysis and publications at these sites:

For questions on OECD work on agriculture and climate change, contact the Trade & Agriculture Directorate.


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