Friday, November 12, 2021

COP26: Climate Change, Modi, Methane and Cow Burps/Farts

India's largest cow herd in the world makes it the third biggest global methane emitter. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential (GWP) 84 times greater than CO2. At COP26 in Glasgow, 104 nations agreed to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030. India, represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, refused to join this agreement, as did the top two emitters China and Russia. Pakistan, the 8th largest methane emitter, did make the methane cut pledge. 

Top Global Emitters of Methane. Source: Financial Times

Cattle Emissions:

Cow burps and farts are major contributors to global warming. The digestive processes of ruminants, including buffalos and cows, produce methane, a greenhouse gas which is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the planet. India has over 300 million ruminants, about one-third of the global cattle herd population. Pakistan has about 100 million buffalos and cows. 

Methane Emissions From Fossil Fuels. 

The world's top 5 agriculture methane emitters are 1. India, 2. China, 3. Brazil, 4. United States and 5. Pakistan. 

Methane Emission Sources. Source: Financial Times

Industrial Emissions:

Majority of the methane emissions in the industrialized world come from fossil fuels, including natural gas, oil and coal. In India, about 30% of the methane comes from industrial processes while 70% is contributed by livestock. In Pakistan, industrial and domestic consumption of natural gas contributes 40% of methane emission while the rest come from agriculture.  There is strong correlation between industrial emissions and GDP intensity. The regions with the highest GDP per kilometer have the highest levels of industrial emissions of CO2 and methane. 

GDP Density Per Square Kilometer 


Both industrial and agriculture sources of methane emissions need to be managed to achieve 30% cut by 2030 pledged by 105 nations. Industrial emissions will require plugging leaks in the production, transmission and distribution networks of natural gas. 

There are a number of ideas being pursued to reduce emissions from buffalos and cows. These range from animal feed additives to produce less gas to the use of face masks.      

 A sensor in the animal face mask detects the percentage of methane that is expelled when the cow exhales. When methane levels exceed a certain limit, the mask channels the gas towards an oxidation mechanism inside, which contains a catalyst that converts methane into CO2 and water, and expels it from the device. 


Burps and farts from ruminants like buffalos and cows are a major source of global warming. These emissions contain methane gas which is 84 times more potent than CO2 in causing global warming. In addition, there are significant methane emissions from industrial and domestic use of fossil fuels like natural gas, oil and coal. At COP26 in Glasgow, 104 nations agreed to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030. India refused to join this agreement. Pakistan, the 8th largest methane emitter, did make the methane cut pledge. 


Anonymous said...

This is BS.The biggest non industrial methane catastrophe is likely due to the thawing of the mega massive siberian permafrost which is irreversible...

Steve said...

So the future is lab grown meat and soya/almond milk.

By the way, the percentage of Methane produced from cattle burps/manure from the entire South Asian region is 5.8% of total methane emissions in the world . For comparison China produces 3% in the same category but a lot more in the other categories. Do check out the link.

Riaz Haq said...

How methane-producing cows leapt to the frontline of climate change
From garlic-infused pellets to face masks — the lengths employed by farmers to cut greenhouse gas emissions

As the impact of methane emissions has become clearer, the dairy and meat industries are in the direct line of fire. Domesticated animals emit about 5 per cent of total human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, although that rises to 14.5 per cent when feed production, transport and other factors are taken into account, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

About 1.5bn cattle produce 7 gigatonnes per year, or 60 per cent of livestock emissions, with almost 40 per cent coming in the form of methane. Although it lasts for less time in the atmosphere, the greenhouse gas is about 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a factor in global warming.

Cows, and other “ruminant” animals whose stomachs are divided into compartments, produce methane during “enteric fermentation”, the digestive process as enzymes in their gut break down grass, hay and other feed. The gas, which builds up in stomachs, is then emitted largely through their burps.

Tackling the methane problem is both urgent and difficult. While carbon dioxide is “the most important” contributor to human-induced warming, methane is the next most significant, a report from another UN body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concluded in August.


Agriculture is the leading source of global methane, accounting for about 40 per cent, the bulk of which comes from livestock. Brades Farm is part of a growing movement in the industry, with farmers and food companies competing to be viewed as green and responsible, by planting trees or switching to regenerative farming, largely focusing on natural methods to improve soil health and boost biodiversity.

“There are big climate risks for all of us if we don’t get on top of food system emissions,” says John Lynch, a researcher on the climate effects of meat and dairy production at Oxford university. Consumers in the west, especially the younger generation, are moving away from products with a significant climate footprint. “If the sector is not making serious attempts to reduce its impacts then it will start to lose its social licence,” he adds.

Riaz Haq said...

How methane-producing cows leapt to the frontline of climate change
From garlic-infused pellets to face masks — the lengths employed by farmers to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Incentivising farmers, especially those in developing countries, to start using methane-reducing solutions will be difficult. Companies including Mootral hope carbon offsets might help farmers by generating credits, which represent emissions avoided or removed from the atmosphere, and sell them for cash.

Offsets are generated by activities including tree planting, carbon capture technology and even Mootral’s supplement, and are increasingly sought after by organisations aiming to compensate for their own emissions. DSM says it is exploring the launch of a carbon credit scheme to coincide with when its supplement hits the market.

Back in Lancashire, the Towers family says its quest for lower emissions has sparked interest from customers and fellow farmers. “There are a lot of people under a lot of pressure” to reduce their emissions, says Towers’ father, John. “Our industry is waking up to the fact that it has to change.”

The younger Towers says the switch to lower methane milk has been easier for Brades than it would be for many dairy farmers, since they sell premium milk to upmarket suppliers and caf├ęs in London, such as Allpress Espresso and Gails. “We’re lucky because our customers are discerning and they generally can afford to choose to use us.”

Even with the additional revenue from the sale of offsets, farmers are likely to need government support to start investing in emissions reduction solutions. More consumers need to start purchasing low-methane products to support the effort, but the products cost more. A 2-litre bottle of Brades milk retails for about £2.70, more than double what supermarkets charge for own-label milk.

“Some people need to buy the cheapest [milk] they can find to feed their families,” says Towers. Supermarkets, he adds, have “a disproportionate amount of power.” They could choose to buy climate-friendly products, rather than engaging in a “race to be the cheapest”.

Nevertheless, he believes that the whole industry can make that shift. “The most important industry around climate change is farming . . . we really are the [one] that has the ability collectively to have a really positive impact, [and] the biggest responsibility, which is feeding everyone else who doesn’t farm.”

Riaz Haq said...

As of 2018, agricultural methane emissions in India was 498,490 thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent that accounts for 14.19% of the world's agricultural methane emissions. The top 5 countries (others are China, Brazil, the United States of America, and Pakistan) account for 42.47% of it.

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

Thanks for this interesting and informative post, Sir you mentioned about fossil fuel in your post, you said that:
Majority of the methane emissions in the industrialized world come from fossil fuels, including natural gas, oil and coal.

My comment:

Sir according to , fossil fuel is a hydrocarbon-containing material formed underground from the remains of dead plants and animals that humans extract and burn to release energy for use. The main fossil fuels are coal, petroleum and natural gas, which humans extract through mining and drilling.

I remember once I read somewhere that according to researchers and scientists, this fossil fuel which you have mentioned actually came into existance when millions of years ago, dinosaurs died and after their death when their bodies decayed, they formed fossil fuels which is later used as petroleum and gas.

Riaz Haq said...

#America Isn’t Ready for the #ElectricVehicle Revolution. #China controls Lithium-ion battery supply chain. #Russia's #Putin predicts #oil will reach $100 a barrel next year. #energy #FossilFuels #EnergyTransition #RenewableEnergy by Steve LeVine

China’s buildup continues to this day. Just a few weeks ago, Contemporary Amperex Technology, China’s largest battery manufacturer, said it would invest up to $4.96 billion on a plant to recycle used E.V. batteries. That was on top of the company’s $297 million acquisition of Canada’s Millennial Lithium Corporation, which was announced in September.

Can the United States hope to ever catch up? In recent months, General Motors, Stellantis and Toyota have each announced plans to build massive battery factories in North America. Ford said it and its South Korean partner will build three U.S. battery plants by 2025 with enough capacity to equip one million E.V.s a year. But no one seems to know exactly how the battery supply chain will come together and where they will obtain each of the necessary precursors, like cobalt and manganese.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, last month added his voice to a bullish chorus predicting $100-a-barrel oil — double the price at the start of the year. He may have been showing restraint: Some traders are betting on an unprecedented $200 a barrel by the end of 2022. The return of a frenzied oil market is conjuring up unwelcome memories of a global petroleum goliath with the power to influence Western geostrategy and roil societies everywhere.

Yet this is the old story. We now stand at the precipice of the age of batteries and electric vehicles, technologies likely to steamroll fossil-fuel companies and petro states. From a few thousand fully electric cars sold around the world in the late aughts, consumers are on track to buy four million of them this year.

So far, the United States appears to be little more than a spectator to this revolution. While its battery makers and automakers are poised to produce cutting-edge batteries and popular electric vehicles, they will rely almost entirely on a supply chain controlled by China. Over the past decade, China has built up most of the world’s capacity to process the metals that make lithium-ion batteries — the heart of the electric vehicle revolution — work. It is this capacity that puts China in the catbird seat in the race for the future while America falls farther and farther behind.

Following the financial crash of 2008, the United States and China, along with Japan, South Korea and other countries, began an undeclared race to create and reap the dividends of the E.V. industry, including associated businesses such as battery production. This led the United States and China to inject stout public funding into battery and E.V. start-ups and established companies, in hopes of kick-starting an economic recovery.

In the United States, initially buoyant public and political support for President Barack Obama’s strategy eroded within just a couple of years, following accusations of squandered public funds in a government-backed loan to Solyndra, a California solar panel company that fell victim to cheap Chinese imports.

In China, by contrast, state-backed companies have secured a reliable supply of the raw metals and elements behind E.V. batteries. In the last three and a half years alone, Chinese companies have been the biggest international buyers of additional lithium assets amid soaring prices for the metal.

By 2018, Chinese companies also owned half of the largest cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the source of most of the world’s supply of the metal. Government funding for China’s electric vehicle sector during the past decade amounted to more than $100 billion, according to a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Riaz Haq said...

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of #Indian state of Madhya Pradesh: "Cow dung and urine can strengthen #India's #economy.....a lot of work cannot progress without #cows or ox. Therefore, they are very crucial" #Hindutva #BJP #Modi via @IndianExpress

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said that cows, along with their dung and urine, can play a crucial role in strengthening the economy of the country.

“A lot of work cannot progress without cows or ox. Therefore, they are very crucial. Cows, their dung and urine can help strengthen the economy of the state and the country if a proper system is put in place,” Singh said while addressing a convention of the women’s wing of the Indian Veterinary Association in Bhopal.

He added, “We are trying our best to lend support. And with the contribution of women in this field, I am sure that we will succeed. From cow dung and urine, you can make a range of important substances, starting from pesticides to medicines.”

Madhya Pradesh boasts of the country’s first cow sanctuary whose foundation was laid by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Last year, the BJP government in the state had announced the constitution of a “gau cabinet” (cow cabinet) with ministers of six departments who would work towards the protection of cows and promotion of cow produce in the state.

The Congress manifesto for the 2018 Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh had also focused on cows, with the grand old party having promised to build gaushalas in every panchayat and start the commercial production of gau mutra (cow urine). The Congress had promised to build many more cow sanctuaries and provide grants for their upkeep and maintenance.

In 2018, Tripura CM Biplab Deb had insisted on rearing cows as means of employment for the youth, saying that unlike setting up big industries in which “one has to invest Rs 10,000 crore for employing 2000 people”, giving 10,000 cows to 5,000 families will help people start earning in “6 months”.

Riaz Haq said...

#India waters down #COP26 #ClimateChange agreement with “phasing down unabated coal", not "phasing out unabated coal". India relies on #coal for bulk of its #energy needs. Coal is the dirtiest fuel. Coal is the biggest contributor to #GlobalWarming.

The COP26 climate summit in Glasgow has ended with nearly 200 countries endorsing an agreement to cut carbon emissions, scale back the use of coal and fossil fuels and provide more support to developing nations to help them adapt to global warming.

The agreement, called the Glasgow Climate Pact, came late Saturday at the United Nations conference after a one-day delay and three draft proposals. It builds on the 2015 Paris climate treaty by listing a series of decisions and resolutions that all countries have agreed to adopt. They include a commitment to accelerating national action plans to limit global warming.

The overall objective of the pact is to cap the rise in the global temperature at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, which scientists say is critical to avoiding the worst consequences of climate change.

The deal nearly fell through when India’s Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav, introduced a change that diluted language relating to coal just seconds before delegates were set to approve the agreement.

Instead of countries agreeing to “phase out” the use of unabated coal, Mr. Yadav proposed “phase down.” Many delegates were furious at the intervention, but in the end they had little choice but to accept India’s amendment or risk the deal falling apart.

COP26 President Alok Sharma apologized for putting delegates in a bind over India’s intervention. Afterward, he told reporters: “Of course I wish that we had managed to preserve the language on coal that was originally agreed.”

John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, called the pact a “powerful statement” that raised global ambitions to protect the planet. “Not everyone in public life gets to make choices about life and death,” he said during a plenary session on Saturday. “Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that.”

However, the deal received only lukewarm backing from delegates representing dozens of poorer countries. They said it contains far too many compromises and fails to commit developed countries to paying for the damage climate change has already done to the developing world.

The deal “does not bring hope to our hearts, but serves as yet another conversation where we put our homes on the line while those who have other options decide how quickly they want to act,” said Shauna Aminath, the minister of environment for the Maldives.

“I need some more reassurance from our developed-country partners,” said Gabon’s environment minister, Lee White. “Africa risks being destabilized by climate change. It’s already, in certain of our countries, a matter of life and death. Already we are seeing some of our nations failing.”

There were also questions about whether the agreement will achieve its main objective: meeting the 1.5-degree target.

As part of the COP process, more than 100 countries, including Canada, have pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 or 2050, although China’s target is 2060 and India’s is 2070. However, a recent report from Climate Action Tracker, a coalition of scientists from around the world, said the goals are little more than “false hope.” The group said that, based on the commitments made at COP26, the Earth is set to warm by 2.4 degrees by 2100. Even if every country fully met its targets, a 1.8-degree rise was likely, the report added.

samir sardana said...

Climate Change due to carbon and methane is irreversible,because the Alt-options,have a huge cost,which humans cannot and will not bear.

Let us Say that humans eat synthetic meat and milk - and it comes free ! That will ruin the agri-economics,as plant wastes and residues and oil cakes will have no use - and so,agri prices will have to rise 2-3 times - and no one will pay for that ! AND THEN ALL THAT AGRI WASTE WILL HAVE TO BE BURNT !

The solution is to eat synthetic meat and gene modified agri crops - which creates less waste,lesser need for water and fertilisers,lesser time, lesser sunlight and photosynthesis, higher yield,and which is cropped throughout the year.That is another quantum leap.

But that is what is happening.Uncle Bill is into Synthetic meat and Gene modified agri - and if you cut down the population,and the hunan life span - then you have a solution

Humans will NOT pay for Climate Change.

And that is Y,substituting the food inputs of cattle,will not work - as the existing agri economics,will be blown up,and agri prices will have to triple.

The OTHER solution is to breed a new DNA of livestock - which has much higher yield,lower cost of maintenance,no impact of disease,higher potency,engineered to a new diet and more beef.

NATO and the West,know that there is no solution.The West has to be free of OPEC and PRC.E-Vehicles,are a mortal threat,to the Western Economies.So the West is comfortable with OPEC and GCC.

The Only Solution is Population reduction,and Climate Change is an EXCUSE,to reduce the population - but in that process,the players will try all the options (knowing that they will fail - as they fund the options !),and ultimately convince the masses,to bite the pill

But then people ask - Y do the players fund all the alt-options,knowing that it will fail ?

It simple - the players want to be SURE,that all the options will fail - and so,they fund each leg of it - so that they have the results of all the research,and intelligence on the options.dindooohindoo


When people analyse the Chaiwala in COP - and his views on carbon and methane - they should read the post of Mr Haq on Shivraj Chauhan,and the merits of cow dung and cow urine for the Indian economy and Indian jobs !

This is in November 2021 AD !

Some people will be shocked by Shivraj Chauhan's genius !

But this is nothing ! In COVID - the Indian students had no classes and exams -but Chaiwala had the time to do AN ONLINE COW EXAM

Buy this is also nothing !

Meet this clown Vijay Sardesai from the land of Parrikar (who claimed the 1st Sir-Jee-Kal Strike).This Sardesai says that vedic hymns are what plants need - no seed and no water and no pesticides

AND THIS A PART OF THE STATE AGRI SCHEME ! Parrikar had the same DNA,as Sardesai ! Parrikar had said that he would sort out Pakistan,and he is no more !

What afflicts the IQ of the Hindu ?

What is the benefit of drinking Gau Mutram for Vijay Sardesai,Parrikar and Goans ?
Sample the worth of these Goans - 100% failures ! It is a world record ! THIS IS NOT A ACADEMIC EXAM - IT IS A PROFESSIONAL JOB SELECTION EXAM ! accountant-posts/story-nSzn8flSU2xJrdWAxvjrVM.html 1904276

Even the GSPC Chairman is on record to state that Goans "lack in analytical reasoning, knowledge of scientific application and general knowledge including current affairs"




Hindoos eat Cow Dung,Cock Dung, Bird Dung . Goat Dung ,Cow Piss and Goat Piss and Elephant Piss ! dindooohindoo

Elephant Urine

Elephant urine “gajamutra” is used as an alkaline decoction preparation for a supposed cure to malignant sores. [ Ci.9.16 ] [ Ray 131 ]

Goat Dung and Urine

Goat droppings “ajashakrt” are prescribed as an accessory to surgical cauterization and is used for cauterizing diseased skin.

Cock Dung and other Birds’ Droppings

The dung of a specially fed cock “kukkutapurisha” is prescribed as an ingredient for a plaster used to cure malignant skin diseases [ Ci.9.15 ] [ Ray 132 ] Vulture droppings “grdhrapurisha” is an ingredient of a plaster fro bursting of non-boils [ Su.37.9 ] [ Ray 132 ].

Mr Haq said that a Minister said that the solution to jobs in India - is to gift a cow to Indians who have no jobs ! The man is right ! At least then,Indians can gp to the GCC to clean camel dung - like this brilliant Goan ! dindooohindoo



Pakistan has to make to COP commitments - as it has the fortune of being next to a sloth lumbering cancerous lump of lard of a nation - like India !

India CANNOT and WILL NOT make any carbon commitment !

There are 300 million cows in Hindoosthan ! 1 cow eats and excretes 15-20 times - w.r.t a Hindoo,every day.In addition,the live stock pullulates at a much higher rate.Besides,the daily water needs of a cow,is 100 times that of a Hindoo !

So the population of Hindoosthan is 1.2 billion humans,and 5 billion quasi Hindoos = approx 7 billion = close to the world HUMAN population !




THAT IS THE DIS-ASS-TER ZONE ! dindooohindoo




Riaz Haq said...

Cement sector pledges to decarbonise Pakistan

KARACHI: Pakistan Business Council (PBC) hosted a virtual session with British High Commission and Embassy of Italy to discuss the pathways for the decarbonisation of the country's cement sector.

This webinar comes at a time when the world leaders have huddled in Glasgow to discuss sustainability and growth without compromising everyone’s collective future. Speaking at the moot, Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner and Director of Trade, said, “Next to water, concrete is the second-most consumed substance on earth; on average, each person uses nearly three tonnes a year”.

According to Nithavrianakis, the concrete industry uses about 1.6 billion tons of Portland cement to produce 12 billion tons of concrete a year and accounts for 7-8 percent of greenhouse emissions. Ehsan Malik, CEO PBC, said, “The investment in infrastructure and the construction packages of the government will entail substantial increase in the use of cement in Pakistan, so we need to think about climate-resilient ways of production”.

Muhammad Ali Tabba, CEO Lucky Cement Limited and President of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said, “In a bid to achieve green growth going forward, the industry globally will have to adapt to climate change challenges and rework business models to ensure environmental stewardship and robust growth and the cement industry in Pakistan is committed to playing its role”. Faustine Delasalle, Co-Executive Director, Mission Possible Partnership and Director, Energy Transitions Commission explained, “There are essentially three routes, which need to be taken to meet the increasing demand whilst reducing emissions in the cement sector”. “The first being a need to relook at using materials efficiently, the second being improving energy efficiency and the third being employing new technologies to cut emissions,” Delasalle added.

According to the statement, Pakistan’s leading companies are also committing to reduce carbon emissions by disclosing their pledge openly. More than 28 companies from various sectors have signed the pledge letter to the ‘Business Ambition to 1.5 Degrees’ – and are ready to embark on the journey to reduce Carbon emissions to 50 percent by 2030.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to plant 540m #trees in spring 2022.
'Plant for Pakistan Day’ to be marked on February 22 with massive plantation drive. #carbonfootprint #reforestation #PlantForPakistanDay #ClimateCrisis #ClimateAction

Islamabad: Pakistan has announced planting of more than 540 million trees during the spring season of 2022 to tackle environmental problems, said the advisor on climate change.

PM’s special assistant on climate change Malik Amin Aslam said that the plantation campaign would be conducted in consultation with all provincial forest departments and by involving youth, especially scouts, in the plantation drive.

“We have set a whopping target of planting over 540 million plants all over the country during the spring season spread over February to April under PM Imran Khan’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme,” Aslam said.

Sharing the details of the plantation campaign, the PM’s aide said that 194 million plants would be planted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province followed by 140 million in Sindh province, 74 million in Punjab, 13.5 million in Balochistan, 98.7 million in AJK and 20.64 million in Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The February-April season provides an unprecedented opportunity to plant as many trees as possible all over the country for dealing with various environmental problems, Aslam said. He urged that “all-out efforts should be taken to take full benefit from the ongoing spring season by planting saplings on a large-scale in the country. Because this is the second major season after monsoon when the soil is ready after receiving good winter rains to let the seedling grow fast and hold their grip on soil strongly.”

Noting that Pakistan is a highly climate-vulnerable country, Aslam stressed the importance of the forest in its efforts to cope with climate risks, particularly floods, torrential rains, desertification, sea-level rise and heatwaves, which have become increasingly frequent due to global warming.

Plant for Pakistan day
Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to kick-start the spring tree plantation campaign on February 22, marked annually as ‘Plant for Pakistan day’. Nearly 4 million saplings will be planted tomorrow across the country and 12.2 million plants would be made available at various plantation sites all over the country for the general public.

As many as 674 events have been planned on Tuesday to encourage the general public to take part in the plantation campaign. Around 750,000 members of the Pakistan Boy Scout Association would join the plantation campaign during the current spring season. The tree plantation programme would be a learning opportunity to get the residents involved in the environment and conservation of natural resources, officials said.

Riaz Haq said...

Wheat Can’t Catch a Break Right Now
India’s giant heat wave is having ripple effects for the world’s food supply.

By Robinson Meyer

For the past few days, a heat wave of mind-boggling scale and intensity has gripped South Asia. More than 1 billion people in India and Pakistan have endured daytime highs of 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Delhi, the world’s second-largest city, has suffered through back-to-back days of 110-degree Fahrenheit heat. And Nawabshah, Pakistan—a city of nearly 230,000 people in the country’s desert south—came within half a degree of 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), the temperature at which the human body starts to cook.

The heat wave has a horrific human cost. Dozens of people have died of heatstroke, according to reports from NPR. It will have a climate cost. Although only the richest Indians own air conditioners, electricity demand is so high that the country is planning to import additional coal to keep its power grid alive.

The heat wave will also have an economic cost—one that will ripple beyond the subcontinent. As I’ve written about before, the world is suffering through a shortage of crucial commodities, including keystone cereal crops such as wheat. When Russia invaded Ukraine, it scrambled an already strained global wheat market—Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter; Ukraine, the world’s sixth largest—and sent prices soaring. India, which has enjoyed five straight years of record wheat crops, jumped in and offered to export more than usual.

The heat wave has, for now, thrown those plans into doubt. Some Indian farmers have estimated that 10 to 15 percent of their crop has died, according to Monika Tothova, an economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. But it’s too early to know exactly how the heat wave will shape the crop.

Food shortages and rising grain prices can bend the trajectory of history. Some commentators assert they played an outsize role in the Arab Spring revolutions a decade ago. (Other experts disagree.) I have had a hard time keeping track of the many story lines involved in the current crunch, so earlier this week, I called Tothova to chat about why food prices are so high, how much climate change is to blame, and what might happen next. Here are a few takeaways from our conversation:

1. India will still probably have excess wheat. The only question is how much.

India’s biggest annual wheat crop is the rabi, which is planted from October to December and harvested in the early spring, Tothova told me. In each of the past five years, India has achieved record-breaking wheat production during its rabi season. It was on track for another bumper year when the heat wave struck.

The country got a little lucky on timing. In southern and central India, the rabi has already been harvested or is being gathered now. But big questions remain about the health of wheat in northern India, the country’s most productive region, where the crop remains largely unharvested and has therefore been baking in the searing heat. “The heat itself will not hurt the grain,” Tothova said. What agronomists worry about instead, she said, is a phenomenon called “terminal heat stress,” where extreme heat overtaxes the plant and prevents it from forming any grain at all.

If much of northern India’s wheat had yet to form its grain before the heat wave began, the effects could be severe. Northern India also drives most of the variation in India’s wheat crop: When the rabi has a bumper year, it’s because northern India boomed. Climate change actually contributed to that recent bump in a small but positive way. There’s more irrigation in northern fields now than there used to be, Tothova said, because melting glaciers in the Himalayas have increased river flow into the country. (Of course, now farmers are feeling the other side of that coin.)

Riaz Haq said...

India has opposed the developed world's efforts to extend the scope of mitigation to agriculture at the ongoing U.N. climate summit in Egypt, saying rich nations do not want to change their lifestyles to reduce emissions and are "searching for cheaper solutions abroad", sources said on Thursday.

Expressing concern over the draft decision text on the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, India said developed countries are blocking a pro-poor and pro-farmer decision by insisting on expanding the scope for mitigation to agriculture, thereby compromising the very foundation of food security in the world, a source in the Indian delegation said.

In most developing countries across the world, agriculture is done by small and marginal farmers who toil hard and brave the vagaries of extreme weather and climate variability as well as the additional stress of climate change.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is planting lots of mangrove forests – so why are some upset? : NPR

KETI BANDAR, Pakistan — Wildlife ranger Mohammad Jamali boats through mangrove forests of the Indus River Delta, the terminus of a curly waterway that begins thousands of miles upstream in the Himalayas. Birds flutter in and out. Insects dart around mangrove roots that poke like fingers out of the mud. It looks ancient, but this part of the forest is only 5 years old.

"We planted this," says Jamali, 28-years-old. We — rangers of the wildlife department of the government of the southern Pakistani province of Sindh, and locals of nearby fishing communities.

This forest in southern Pakistan is part of one of the world's largest mangrove restoration projects, covering much of the vast delta, an area nearly the size of Rhode Island. These trees, which exist in slivers between sea and land, are powerhouses of sucking up the carbon dioxide that is dangerously heating up the planet.

"They do this very big job per hectare," says Catherine Lovelock, an expert on coastal ecology. Mangroves capture, or sequester, carbon dioxide "through their roots and into the soil, as well as above ground," she says.

This mangrove reforestation effort alone in the Indus Delta is expected to absorb anestimated 142 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next sixty years. It's a test case for restoration, and planting mangroves at this scale might help the fight to curb planetary warming.


In Pakistan, some environmentalists say without carbon credits, this massive reforestation project wouldn't have happened. They say the government was incentivized to support it. Instead of having to find the budget to do this, the government is being paid proceeds from carbon credit sales.

So far, Delta Blue Carbon has sold two batches of credits, most recently in June. It's made the provincial government around $40 million so far, according to local media outlet Arab News. It's big money in a poor country.

"It is paying money. It is generating revenue," says ecologist Rafiul Haq who consulted on the mangrove project. Haq says without that revenue stream, the government would be under pressure to let developers in, for shrimp farms or for seaside homes.

Haq says there's another benefit: auditors must evaluate the company's progress before they can sell more carbon credits, which means the mangrove forests are nurtured and protected, and the company has to show local communities are benefiting. "This is a blessing for us," Haq says. "We have to present ourselves as the good boy," he laughs.


To other environmentalists, the mangrove project is "carbon colonialism."

"I don't begrudge anyone, especially in areas like these, for taking money for large scale restoration projects like this," says Polly Hemming, director of the climate and energy program of the progressive think tank, the Australia Institute. But she says, "it's just another form of carbon colonialism. Like, we'll give you some money to restore your land," and then, sell "your credits to a polluter so they can continue emitting."

Underscoring that argument, Hemming pointed to one of the key purchasers of these carbon credits is one of the world's largest fossil fuel trading companies, Trafigura. It is also one of the world's largest traders of carbon credits. Through a spokesperson, the company declined to comment for this story.