Saskatchewan’s agricultural emissions on the rise, says National Farmers Union report

Saskatchewan, a province that comprises roughly 40% of Canada’s cropland and nearly a third of the nation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture, is witnessing a steady increase in emissions, according to a new report by the National Farmers Union. The report aims to bring awareness to the issue as Canada works towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

John Mills of the National Farmers Union noted that the province’s emission trajectory aligns with the broader national picture, where GHG emissions are also trending upwards. “This is similar to what we observe on a national scale,” said Mills.

The report attributes the rise in emissions to the increased use of nitrogen fertilizer and diesel fuel combustion in agricultural activities. The usage of nitrous fertilizer, in particular, has surged by a factor of four between 1990 and 2021. “Obviously, when you are increasing the usage to such an extent, you will witness a corresponding rise in emissions,” Mills added.

However, Mills pointed out that the report does not delve into alternative, greener farming practices. “The objective here is to ensure that there is a common understanding of the existing issues,” he said.

Canada has pledged to reduce its GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2030. In line with this, the federal government aims for a 30% reduction in emissions from nitrogen fertilizers, prompting the search for alternative solutions.

Mills emphasized that tackling agricultural emissions requires a nuanced understanding that takes into account regional differences. “Agriculture in the Maritimes is significantly different from agriculture in Saskatchewan. Therefore, it is crucial to consider how solutions to address climate change will differ at the provincial levels,” he noted.

Mills concluded with a warning: “We need to recognize that, currently, we are on a path where emissions are headed in the wrong direction.”

Source: Global News

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