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Carbon neutral efforts by Agri-food companies

Gs Paper-3

Syllabus: Environment Conservation



A recent report by FAO and EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), highlights the need for decarbonizing agrifood systems.


Global agrifood system:

  • Account for 21-37% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions
  • Are affected by warming through changing rainfall patterns and supply chain disruptions.


Carbon neutrality may help but still is an imperfect tool to transform food systems because:

  • Roadblock 1: Governance of standards and processes: g. A common terminology surrounding carbon neutrality is still lacking.
  • Roadblock 2: Knowledge, data and tools gaps at several levels
  • Roadblock 3: Costs: The costs of becoming carbon neutral can be relatively high for smaller farmers and companies
  • Roadblock 4: Engaging smaller players: While some companies are engaging SMEs and smallholder farmers in carbon neutrality efforts, these cases are singular and so far, wide-scale engagement has been minimal.


Action Area for greener agrifood system:

  • Strategically target carbon neutrality ( through decarbonization policies and Nationally Determined Contributions)
  • Improve and standardize tools: g.  simplify and harmonise database and standards for carbon accounting)
  • Directly support companies and farmers to decarbonize
  • Awareness and education on carbon neutrality
  • Promote sound governance mechanisms to guide low-carbon investment and private sector compliance

Current Affairs 


What are Net-zero emissions?

Net zero-emission (or carbon neutrality) means removing an equal amount of CO2 from the atmosphere as we release it, thus reducing the Earth’s net climate balance.


What is meant by the CO₂ budget?

A CO₂ budget determines how much CO₂ a country or person is allowed to emit in order to achieve the global climate protection goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.


Inst Links

India will achieve net-zero emissions by 2070


Practice Questions

Q. Discuss the concept of Carbon Neutrality? Explain its significance.  Also, evaluate the feasibility of such a principle for a developing country like India. (10M)

Q. Discuss the ways in which India can achieve its ambitious targets of net zero emissions by 2070. (10M)


Q. “Momentum for Change: Climate Neutral Now” is an initiative launched by

(a) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

(b) The UNEP Secretariat

(c) The UNFCCC Secretariat

(d) The World Meterological Organisation


Answer: C

Launched in 2015 by UNFCCC, it urges individuals, companies, and governments to measure their climate footprint, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.


Q. What is blue carbon? (UPSC CSE 2021)

(a) Carbon captured by oceans and coastal ecosystems.

(b) Carbon sequestered in forest biomass and agricultural soils.

(c) Carbon contained in petroleum and natural gas.

(d) Carbon present in atmosphere

Answer: A