A new initiative that calls for agriculture to be part of the solution to climate change, and not part of the problem, has been launched at the COP16 climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico.
Over the past two weeks, global leaders and policy makers have been debating a global climate change deal but no concrete agreement has been made. The Roadmap for Action: Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, a new reiteration of the workplan launched at the Hague conference last month, proposes key actions to be taken to link agriculture-related investments and policies with the transition to climate-smart growth.
It advocates getting the right policies and programs in place that will increase farm productivity and incomes, make agriculture more resilient to variations in climate and make the sector part of the solution to climate change by sequestering more carbon into the soil and biomass.
Supported by high-level experts including Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group, it offers some progress towards a dedicated work programme for agriculture within a broader climate agreement.
Zoellick said,“Agriculture, forestry, and land use change account for more than 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. So we need to make the agriculture sector and soil carbon part of the solution to climate change. A number of countries are already making real progress, but the immediate challenge is making sure that financing flows in the right directions – so far only 2% of flows have gone to Africa.”
There is a growing recognition that agriculture in developing countries must become “climate smart” to cope with the combined challenges of feeding a warmer, more heavily populated world.