12 May 2017

Side event on Agriculture and Climate Change – Paris, Marrakech and beyond


Organized by FAO, German Ministry of Agriculture and German Institute for Sustainable Development, Bonn, 11 May 2017 – WFO invited as special guest
COP17 in Durban requested the Subsidiary Body on Strategic Technical Advice, SBSTA, to discuss “issues related to agriculture” as agenda item to inform the negotiations. So far, the debate has not come to a conclusion.
SBSTA 42 and 44 have addressed in workshops the question of 1) early warning systems: 2) assessment of risk and vulnerability of agricultural systems; 3) identification of adaptation measures and, 4) identification and assessment of agricultural practices and technologies.
In addition this pre-Paris assignment, the Paris Agreement in 2015 was built on the basis of (Intended) National Determined Contribution, NDC, of which over 90 percent of the countries included the agriculture sector, as shown by FAO analysis.
We are now all aware, that on the table we have two agendas that we cannot neglect to treat together, which is the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. ¾ of emission is produced by energy: transportation, heating system and so on, but there ¼ that is produced by agriculture. Therefore, yes! Agriculture can be part of the solution!
All delegations in SBSTA and COP have an agricultural expert, which proofs the importance of agriculture when we speak about climate change. All countries share recognition of the importance of the topic. They just have different views of how to treat it. All of them acknowledge the strategic link of mitigation, adaptation and food production, food security and sustainable development. On the other side, it is true that the Paris Agreement changes a lot of things: it is no more a top down approach, it is a bottom up approach were it is not the convention imposing measures to parties, but it is rather parties deciding on the implementation of the convention. In this process parties are involving stakeholders to ensure participation of all sectors of the society in the process.
“There are no other actors in the world as vulnerable as farmers are to climate change. But there is no other sector in the world that can contribute to tackle climate change, as farmers are, in such a short time. I hope that with digitalization of agriculture, innovation, mechanization, we can really achieve a climate-smart agriculture sector which leads to sustainable development, globally, leaving no one behind”, said Theo de Jager, on behalf of the World Farmers’ Organisation, WFO.