Globally optimum cropping pattern as a part of the policy solution towards achieving Net-Zero emissions

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines, for any country the national greenhouse gas inventories include greenhouse gas emissions and removals taking place within the national territory and offshore areas over which the country has jurisdiction (IPCC 2006). This has special implications for greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs) taking place in agriculture exports. Agriculture accounts for nearly 23 of the global anthropogenic GHGEs (Arneth et al., 2019). The GHGEs take place and are accounted for in the national inventory of the country where the crops/food is produced however, the exported crops/food is consumed in the importing country/s. In a sense, by importing crops/food the importing countries are safeguarding their environment by letting the GHGEs take place in country/s where the crops/food is produced. Based on my Ph.D. research work for the period from 1961 to 2013, on the two most populated countries each from Asia, Latin America and Africa i.e. China and India in Asia, Brazil and Mexico in Latin America, and Ethiopia and Nigeria in Africa. I propose that at the global level there is a need of devising a globally optimum cropping pattern, which could fulfil the food needs of all the countries and at the same time minimise the overall GHGEs from agricultural exports thus contributing towards achieving Net-Zero emissions (to the best of my knowledge I am the first to propose this concept).

The concept of globally optimum cropping pattern comes under the second type of sensitive intervention point (SIP) (Farmer et al., 2019, page 132) as it involves a shift in the underlying system dynamics, where the rules of the system itself change and trajectories alter substantially (Farmer et al., 2019, page 132). However, it would require support from the actors in the first type of SIP (Farmer et al., 2019) as well. Although the name says globally, to begin with, it can be started at a smaller scale within a country or a group of countries and later on expanded to other countries.




Trigger (intervention)




Feedback Dynamics


Timescale and scaleability





Rajkamal S Mann

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