Climate Change

Reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint while ensuring global food security is a critical challenge that mobilizes a range of stakeholders given the complexity of the issue. The fertilizer industry and other parts of the private sector, UN Agencies, national governments, civil society and non-governmental organizations all have a role to play.

The fertilizer industry is committed to playing its part in curbing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below 1.5C, the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The industry recognizes that an efficient transition to economy-wide, net-zero emissions is the only way to limit global warming. While some companies have already committed to net-zero, others are developing strategies for lower-carbon pathways.

On production sites, significant progress has already been achieved in the last 30 years thanks to the adoption of best available technologies. Now academic institutions, research and development centers and a number of IFA members are working on technologies to produce ammonia from sustainable, carbon-neutral inputs. Industry-driven, measurable efforts to reduce carbon footprint are also happening in the fertilizer transport and supply chain down to the farm level, as part of a comprehensive global engagement to decarbonize the entire food supply chain.

Re-thinking the Role of Plant Nutrients

The Ammonia Technology Roadmap: IFA Summary for Policymakers
Ammonia is the starting point for all mineral nitrogen fertilisers, forming a bridge between the nitrogen in the air and almost half of the food we eat. About 70% of ammonia is used for fertilisers, while the remainder is used for various industrial applications, such as plastics, explosives and synthetic fibres. Ammonia makes an indispensable contribution to global agricultural systems through its use for fertilisers. Its production is an emissions and energy-intensive process, relying on fossil fuels: global ammonia production today accounts for around 2% (8.6 EJ) of total final energy consumption.

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Sustainable Fertilizer Production

Paris Agreement : Achieving the goals from the accord will require a significant reduction in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, ideally 40% to 50% by 2030.
The fertilizer industry is committed to playing its part to reduce GHG emissions and the general environmental footprint from production of fertilizers and has already made great strides.
Reduced Nitrous Oxide (N2O) emissions - Reduced CO2 emissions. - Carbon capture and re-use. - Nutrient Recovery - Land re-use - Carbon neutral production - Phosphogypsum re-use - A low-carbon fertilizer industry by 2050

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The SDGs and Sustainable Fertilizer Production

Agenda 2030 Helping to Transform our World
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are of paramount importance to the planet and humanity. The International Fertilizer Association (IFA) and its members find them a very useful tool for promoting the more sustainable production of fertilizers.

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IFA Publications

Estimating & Reporting Fertilizer-Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Accounting for Mitigation of N-fertiliser Emissions at National and Project Scales
Submission to the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture
Fertilizers and low emission development in sub-Saharan Africa
The Role of Fertilizers in Climate Smart Agriculture