PLANTERS CORNER

ClimateCane Tracker to Help Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Sugarcane

New ClimateCane Tracker tool from Bonsucro enables sugarcane producers and the companies that source sugarcane derivatives to set targets to reduce emissions in line with climate science. 

It’s just become easier for the sugarcane sector to contribute to global climate efforts with the launch of a new tool from Bonsucro, the global sustainability platform for sugarcane. 

The Bonsucro ClimateCane Tracker enables farms and mills, and companies that source from them, to set science-based targets for reducing emissions from sugarcane production in line with what’s needed to maintain a stable climate. The tool was designed specifically for the sugarcane sector using the Science-Based Targets initiative’s guidance on forest, land and agriculture (FLAG) emissions. 

The tool is only available for Bonsucro members for the first year. This will give Bonsucro’s community the opportunity to help refine and develop it before it’s made available for the wider sector to use. 

Agriculture, forestry and other land use account for nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Added to this, FLAG activities offer opportunities to remove carbon from the atmosphere, which is critical in achieving net zero and keeping global warming below 1.5°C. Scientists agree that warming beyond 1.5°C will significantly increase the risks and impacts of climate change. 

Thousands of leading companies worldwide have committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in line with science. But until now, no guidance or tools have been available specifically to support sugarcane producers. 

The ClimateCane Tracker enables sugarcane producers, and the companies they supply, to set rigorous short-term (5-10 years) and long-term (2050) targets for reducing their climate impact. The targets cover all emissions associated with land management and land-use change, as well as on-farm carbon removals (for example through storing more carbon in soils). The tool takes account of the region(s) where producers operate, as well as their growth plans. 

Danielle Morley, CEO at Bonsucro said, “The facts are clear. If we don’t reduce agriculture-based GHG emissions, there is no way to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Every sector needs to play its part and sugarcane is no exception. Our new ClimateCane Tracker offers a credible and practical way to support the sugarcane sector to set near and long-term mitigation targets for the agriculture phase. The response so far has been very positive and our members are looking forward to using the tool to make science-based targets on climate.” 

BEVAP, a Bonsucro member who piloted the ClimateCane Tracker earlier this year said, “Having the opportunity to contribute to developing this tool was extremely rewarding for our evolution in the climate action and GHG reduction agenda. We still have a long way to go, but this work has undoubtedly enhanced our maturity in this topic. Congratulations, Bonsucro for the initiative and participatory management that you have been applying in the project development.” 

Driving climate action in the sugarcane sector is a key priority for Bonsucro. On average, Bonsucro-certified mills and farms reduce their CO2 emissions per kilo of sugar by 17% within five years, but our aim is to increase this to at least 30%. Research suggests that adopting the Bonsucro standard globally has the potential to halve greenhouse gas emissions from the sugarcane industry.