Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

Earthshot2030: Mobilizing agriculture to solve the climate crisis

Climate change

Catalyze unprecedented action-driven partnerships between farming and science – unleashing nature's power to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse climate change.

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Lead Organization

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

Washington, D.C., United States

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Project Summary

Climate change, the greatest threat to humanity, is advancing at an unprecedented pace. Agriculture and the global food supply is imperiled as a result of dramatic weather events, water scarcity, and expanding pest impacts. While agriculture contributes 13% of greenhouse gas emissions, surprisingly it also presents an elegant and effective solution to eliminate emissions and offset those of other sectors. The solution is right below our feet. Nothing is more powerful than a plant in soil for removing carbon from the atmosphere. We, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), and the World Farmers Organisation (WFO), propose “Earthshot2030” – our living solution to reverse climate change, mobilize millions of farmers, thousands of scientists, hundreds of partner organizations, and bring in an additional match of $100M, to apply innovations at scales and rates previously unimagined.

Problem Statement

Climate change is the greatest threat to humanity. It knows no borders, is blind to our differences, and is advancing rapidly. Agriculture contributes 13% of emissions globally. Yet, agriculture is disproportionately affected by climate change impacts. Dramatic weather events, water scarcity, and the expanding global reach of pests imperil our food systems.Farmers are struggling to adapt to these unprecedented disruptions and yet, they must produce more food to nourish a growing global population. Their livelihoods are at risk. If we do nothing, the food system is at risk of collapse. While there is broad global consensus that we must reduce emissions of carbon, methane and nitrous oxide (greenhouse gases or GHG), efforts in most sectors target net-neutral emissions with the goal of stemming the pace of change. This is insufficient. We plan to reverse climate change, and we must act now.Surprisingly, agriculture presents an elegant, effective, and transformative solution to address climate change. It is the one, if not the only sector, that can achieve net-negative GHG emissions in just a few harvests. While research has demonstrated that agriculture can be the solution, it is highly fragmented, and not implemented at scale.To achieve net-negative emissions, farmers and scientists must collaborate, break down barriers, and operate with one vision and one voice. If they do so, agriculture will not just slow the pace of climate change, but actually reverse it. Climate change is the challenge of our time, and agriculture is answering the call to action.

Solution Overview

The answer to reversing climate change is literally under our feet. Nothing is more powerful than a plant in soil for removing carbon from our atmosphere [1]. The National Academy of Science estimates that the accelerated adoption of existing and imminently available climate-smart practices in agriculture in the U.S. alone could reduce GHG emissions from 8.4% emissions to negative 4% emissions, thereby offsetting carbon emissions from all other sectors in the country and achieving a national net-zero target [2]. Our solution seeks to achieve these offsets by mobilizing scientists and farmers to adopt climate-smart practices at scale – starting with one acre on one farm. Within five years we expect these practices to reach 50-75% of U.S. farmland [3]. Earthshot2030 will rapidly mobilize the scientific and farming communities, as well as the public-private food and agriculture ecosystem, to co-create a practical “Toolkit” outlining the most advanced scientific knowledge on GHG capture and reduction in agriculture. Coupled with the Toolkit, we will develop and launch a farmer-centric adoption management program. Using proven approaches, such as innovator farms, peer-to-peer mentoring, and industry engagement, this project will intensify uptake and implementation at scale, underpinned by an integrated data system that permits real time climate adaption models, measurement, learning, feedback and a connection to the ecosystem.Earthshot2030 is a decade-long effort. A MacArthur Foundation award will provide the rocket-fuel to launch and accelerate these efforts with power and purpose over the critical first five years.

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Project Funders

  • FFAR

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