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Land Use and Greenhouse Gas: Understanding and Reducing Emissions in Agriculture and Forestry

Learn how land use can impact greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This webinar event hosted three different presentations to help land owners consider how to 'activate' idle land using afforestation, bioenergy feedstocks, solar, new food production, and other methods.

Using Former Agricultural Land to Help Meet Climate Goals

More than 1.7  million acres of former agricultural land in New York State could be available for many purposes, including increasing livestock grazing, installing solar panels, growing biomass for bioenergy, or planting trees. Planting trees is a critically important strategy to help meet New York’s ambitious climate goals, because it is a natural and proven way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which will be required to achieve the State mandate of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by year 2050. We will discuss how much land is available, limitations of that land, the potential for greenhouse gas mitigation, and tradeoffs.

Presented by Peter Woodbury and Jenifer Wightman, Cornell University

Solar and Agriculture, from Competition to Co-Location

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Futures Study, solar energy could occupy as much as ten million acres nationwide by 2050. While there is sufficient land in the United States to realize this development and reach climate goals, competition for prime land area (close to transmission, favorable climate, relatively flat) could pose an issue for realizing decarbonization goals. We will discuss various options to address this including deploying solar on brownfields, mine lands, and water bodies. In this talk, you will learn about the work at DOE to advance the practice of agrivoltaics, the combined use of land for both solar and agriculture.

Presented by Zachary Eldredge, Technology Manager, U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office

Land Use Implications of more Circular and Sustainable Food Systems

A large proportion of the world’s arable land is used to produce food (crops or livestock) that is never eaten. By reducing food waste, it is possible to conserve forested land and reduce GHG emissions associated with agricultural production. Keeping excess food, including food scraps, in the human food chain is also vital to reducing the pressure on land from agriculture and reducing the food-feed competition. This means privileging some recycling strategies, namely diverting food waste for animal feed.

Presented by Lori Leonard, Professor, Department of Global Development, Cornell University

Event Date Start-End

April 12, 2022 / 09:09 AM - April 12, 2022 / 11:00 AM