skip to Main Content

Preparing for COP21: Guide to Negotiations on Agriculture and Climate Change

Climate change negotiations are hitting a big deadline this year, as expectations are high for a new agreement to be signed in Paris in December at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). The new deal is meant to be ambitious and set the world on a path to achieve a maximum 2°C rise in temperature. Achieving this target is complex, and there are many factors that may hamper its success. One fundamental obstacle is the fact that agriculture remains inadequately included in the negotiations.

Emerging ag supported Farming First, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to update their “Guide to Negotiations on Agriculture and Climate Change” ahead of the workshops on agriculture that will be held in June during the meeting of SBSTA in Bonn.

The Guide is a great resource for outreach and advocacy on agriculture and climate change. It sets out clear evidence for agriculture’s importance to national economies, food security, adaptation and mitigation. It also features a host of material to help member states and other actors incorporate agriculture into their country’s action plans.

There have been years of back and forth about whether and howagriculture should be tackled under the UN climate change negotiations. It is a highly sensitive sector because of its impact on food and nutrition security, as well as livelihoods. It is also diverse and multifaceted with linkages to many sectors, such as energy, natural resources, and ecosystems. However, climate change cannot be discussed without incorporating agriculture. Agriculture is a significant contributor to global emissions, but it also has an important role to play to meet global adaptation and mitigation objectives. Achieving a 2°C goal without including agriculture is unrealistic.

Advocates for agriculture’s inclusion in the UN climate change negotiations need to seize the opportunities of 2015. This year can be a turning point so a concerted global action is needed ensure a sustainable future.

The guide provides many tools for agricultural practitioners involved in the negotiations, including:

  • Key messages tailored both to the UNFCCC process in general and the Bonn Climate Change Conference more specifically
  • An updated overview of agriculture & the UNFCCC, detailing the ways in which agriculture is being brought into discussions under the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Action and the Conferences of the Parties (COP)
  • Frequently Asked Questions which can help guide answers to difficult questions posed at the negotiating table
  • Factsheets with key statistics to communicate the challenges and opportunities related to agriculture and climate change
  • Websites, infographics, briefs & papers with further information on all topics discussed in the toolkit, bringing the issues to life

Farmers are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, and they need action from policy makers, NGOs, politicians and businesses if they are to adapt and to mitigate. So as the guide states: “Now is the time to act”:

For more information on the guide contact Vanessa Meadu at CCAFS and of course for help on your climate change work, contact us!

Isabelle Coche

Isabelle has significant experience in advocacy and communications at the international and regional levels, and a broad knowledge of development and agriculture issues acquired through previous work in international organisations, private sector and NGOs. She has also successfully led key public affairs projects in highly sensitive issues, such as agricultural biotechnology and intellectual property rights. Isabelle holds a master in gender studies from the London School of Economics and a BA Honours in Political Science and Economics from McGill University. She has lived and worked in Africa and Asia and speaks fluently English and French.

Back To Top