The dialogue on global emissions is growing strong everyday. The solutions  proposed through the advancements of Science, Technology, and Innovations (STI) are proving that there is a potential for widespread solutions to reduce/ eliminate emissions from almost all sources. Therefore, it is worthwhile to look into the sources or drivers of significant amounts of emissions. There are many publications summarizing this information. [1][2] Looking at the list below, it is clear that the listed activities relate to almost every country in different scales. The deforestation drives the largest emissions.   

Deforestation (11.3%)

Road transport (10.5%)

Fuel and power for residential buildings (10.2%)

Fuel and power for commercial buildings (6.3%)

Oil and gas production (6.4%)

Agricultural soils (5.2%)

Livestock and manure (5.4%)

Chemicals production (4.1%)

Cement production (5.0%)[1]

Some of the sectors are well known to us.  However, there are few new terms here. Let us briefly look at these lesser known contributors,

Agricultural Soils

Agricultural soils are related to controlled/managed systems[3], with the target of human purposes. First in order to provide the communities with food. Then, the production of plants of high quality, as well as animal feed with sufficient protein content. These agricultural soil erosion has negative aspects. At the same time it is the main source of nitrous oxide (N2O) and a minor source of methane (CH4), two important biogenic GHGs[4].  Furthermore, hydrologic processes of rainfall and runoff influences water erosion of Agricultural Soil. The amount and rate of surface runoff can affect erosion and sediment transport.

Livestock and manure

Livestock is a considerable emitter and now being related with the increased meat consumption, especially the meats beef and lamb[5]. To reduce the emissions  from livestock produce and manure can be used in producing Biogas. Biogas is a renewable energy resource which is produced through decomposing organic waste under anaerobic conditions and includes methane (60%) and carbon dioxide (35–40%).

Cement production

Cement production is the second largest emitter in terms of industry [2] after power generation. Limestone, shells, and chalk, shale, clay, slate, blast furnace slag, silica sand, and iron ore are some of the ingredients used in cement production. This process is highly emissions+energy intensive because of the extreme temperatures the kiln needs to reach which is around 1400 C. In year 2010 alone, the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from Chinese cement production was estimated to exceed 1.2 Gt. [6]

On the other hand, planting as much as possible is one of the best solutions we have. Therefore, we indicate that missing element from the above list.

Reforestation (-0.4%)

However,  while planting takes priority, other techniques to eliminate, limit or capture these emissions should be developed to keep up with the current emissions and have an ovrall reduction with time. 


[2]Gale, J., 2002, November. Overview of CO2 emissions sources, potential, transport and geographical distribution of storage possibilities. In Proceedings of the workshop on CO2 dioxide capture and storage, Regina, Canada (pp. 15-29).

[3]Munch, J.C. and Velthof, G.L., 2007. Denitrification and agriculture. In Biology of the nitrogen cycle (pp. 331-341).

[4]Cavigelli, M.A. and Parkin, T.B., 2012. Cropland management contributions to greenhouse gas flux: Central and eastern US. In Managing agricultural greenhouse gases (pp. 129-165).

[5] Ratnasiri, S. and Bandara, J., 2017. Changing patterns of meat consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in Australia: Will kangaroo meat make a difference?. PloS one, 12(2), p.e0170130.

[6] Ke, J., McNeil, M., Price, L., Khanna, N.Z. and Zhou, N., 2013. Estimation of CO2 emissions from China’s cement production: methodologies and uncertainties. Energy Policy, 57, pp.172-181.