Historically, based on FAO data, the LULUCF sector has been the largest source of GHG emissions in Myanmar. Over the past decades, these emissions have decreased somewhat and were 28% lower in 2019 than in 1990. While LULUCF emissions reported in Myanmar’s NDC differ from the FAO LULUCF emissions, the sector remains the biggest source of emissions in Myanmar. However, those from other sectors have steadily increased so that they were more than double their 1990 levels in 2015 and rose a further 23% between then and 2019. As a consequence, while total GHG emissions in 2019 were nearly the same as in 1990, the share of non-LULUCF GHG emissions have increased from around 16% in 1990 to 40% in 2019.
Myanmar has expansive forests covering more than 60% of its territory. However, the country is ranked as one of the top ten in the world for tree cover loss. The dominant driver of LULUCF emissions is commodity-driven deforestation. As stated in the NDC, due to deforestation forecasts under a BAU, Myanmar’s LULUCF emissions will remain at a level of around 50 MtCO₂e p.a. in the decade to 2030. The unconditional NDC target seeks to reduce the annual deforestation rate, and thus annual emissions from this sector, by 50% by 2030, and this is in line with the country’s national REDD+ strategy.
Myanmar’s non-LULUCF GHG emissions are mostly due to agricultural activities. In 2019, of the 73 MtCO₂e emitted by the country (excluding LULUCF), the agricultural sector accounted for 57%, of total emissions while the energy and waste sectors accounted for 32% and 8% respectively. Breaking down emissions by gas, CH₄ accounted for 57%, CO₂ 34%, and N₂O 9%, of total GHG excl. LULUCF.
While fuel combustion in the energy sector generated 94% of CO₂ emissions, CH₄ was mostly due to agriculture (88%) and waste (11%), and likewise N₂O (76% and 15% due to agriculture and waste respectively).
Emissions from agriculture have been growing steadily around 1.8% p.a. since 2010. The primary drivers of Myanmar’s agricultural emissions are rice cultivation and enteric fermentation. The NDC, citing statistics from the FAO, puts these as contributing 12% and 9%, respectively, to the country’s total GHG emissions in 2013.
Emissions from energy and industry have grown at a greater rate, and experienced greater volatility than other sectors, particularly since 2010. Energy sector emissions experienced an upward annual trend of 13.6% between 2010 and 2017, while that for industrial emissions has been 16.6%.