LONDON - U.N. negotiators will next month put farming onto the radar of climate regulations for the first time, but governments face aggressive lobbies and gaps in the science proving the extent of agricultural emissions.
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In developing countries, some of the world's poorest farmers may earn rewards in return for cutting carbon emissions under a new global climate deal from 2013.
In the industrialized world, developed countries including the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union are planning to limit or at least monitor greenhouse gas emissions from farms. Details follow --
* farming is excluded from carbon limits under Europe's cap and trade scheme
* individual member states decide whether to include agriculture in national targets
* the EU has allocated for farming an extra 4.2 billion euros ($6.30 billion) to spend from 2010-2013 on 'new challenges', and mainly climate change
* a bigger share of the EU farm annual budget, now 52 billion euros, will likely be spent on environmental issues including climate change from 2014
THE UNITED STATES
* two draft climate bills propose cap and trade schemes, neither would limit greenhouse gas emissions from farms directly
* the bills each propose a carbon offset scheme where uncapped businesses including farmers could sell from 1 to 1.5 billion tons of emissions cuts annually to polluters facing carbon caps
* the U.S. Department of Agriculture would run the offset scheme under the House of Representatives version
* a proposed cap and trade scheme may limit farm greenhouse gas emissions from 2015, with a decision due by 2013
* no proposals at present to allow farmers to sell emissions cuts from soil carbon
* new, revised emissions trading scheme would limit farm greenhouse gases from 2015
* the limits would be intensity-based, meaning farmers have to cap emissions per unit of output such as meat, a less stringent target than an absolute limit across the sector
* New Zealand is pushing a science alliance for international collaboration on mitigation technologies, to cut costs
* countries have proposed a program of work to research an incentive scheme for farmers, under U.N. talks mean to agree a global climate deal in December in Copenhagen
* that scheme would likely focus on the world's poorest farmers and practices which also boost food output
(Editing by Keiron Henderson)