CAN Intervention on Agriculture in the COP19 SBSTA Closing Plenary by Geoff Evans, 16 November, 2013

Thank you chair. I am Geoffrey Evans and am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

CAN is pleased with this week’s agriculture workshop. Everyone in the world depends on agriculture for his/her very sustenance, while many, especially in the developing countries, rely on it for their livelihoods. Climate change puts all of this at risk. Many CAN Members have a long history of working with farmers communities. The sustainability of agriculture and enhancement of food security, now and into the future, are of absolutely vital importance for us.

Following on the success of the workshop, the UNFCCC should facilitate the potential for countries to:

•  Promote biodiverse climate-resilient small-scale agriculture based on agro-ecological principles;

•  Support appropriate technology development and transfer that enhance sustainability of food production systems;

•  Include safeguards which protect biodiversity, equitable access to resources by rural peoples, food security, the right to food, the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, as well as the welfare of farm animals, while promoting poverty reduction and climate adaptation;

•  Explore opportunities to sustainably reduce emissions from the agricultural sector; and

•  Reduce emissions from the conversion of forests and pasture to agriculture.

•  For developing country agriculture the priorities should be sustainability, climate resilience, and food security, and Parties must provide resources for promoting biodiverse, resilient small-scale agriculture and appropriate technology development and transfer.

Thank you.

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Adaptation is the Soul of Agriculture

Global food production and food security are threatened by the greater variability of the climate and increasing occurrence of extreme weather events. Yet the agriculture negotiations are not moving with the urgency required to support the world's poor, especially those engaged in agriculture and related activities, in adapting to these adverse impacts. A vast majority of the world’s population is dependent on small-scale food producers -- climate change puts all of this at risk.

While underscoring the importance of mitigation in the agriculture sector, Parties should be working toward safeguards which protect biodiversity, provide equitable access to resources by rural peoples, ensure food security and the right to food, and build on indigenous and local knowledge.

Developed countries must recognise that for agriculture in developing countries, the priorities remain  food security, sustainability and climate resilience. Parties must provide financing for promoting biodiversity, ensuring resilient small-scale agriculture based on agro-ecological principles, and support for appropriate technology development and transfer that enhances the sustainability of food production systems.

 

Related Newsletter : 

CAN Intervention at COP 19 in the SBSTA Workshop on the current state of scientific knowledge on how to enhance the adaptation of agriculture to climate change impacts...

Thank you chairs. I am Ram Kishan from India and am speaking on behalf of CAN-International.

Global food production and thus food security are threatened by climate change. Every person in the world depends on agriculture for his/her very sustenance; most of the rural poor depend on agriculture for their livelihoods while agriculture has tremendous importance as a means of driving sustainable development. Local and mostly small-scale food producers feed the vast majority of world population. Climate change puts all of this at risk. The sustainability of agriculture and enhancement of food security, now and into the future, are of absolutely vital importance. Agricultural activities contribute about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (plus an additional 10 percent from clearing forests for agricultural land). Addressing these emissions will be critical if we are to achieve the UNFCCC goal of limiting average global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius.

Thus, to the greatest extent possible, policies at all levels should be designed and implemented to meet four goals:

  1. In sustainable ways, maintain and increase the security of food supplies for food insecure people, particularly in developing countries;
  2. Enable small-scale food producers and other vulnerable populations to become more resilient to climate change;
  3. Sustainably reduce emissions from the agricultural sector; and
  4. Reduce emissions from the conversion of other land to agriculture.

The UNFCCC should facilitate the potential for countries to:

  1. Promote biodiverse climate-resilient small-scale agriculture based on agro-ecological principles;
  2. Support appropriate technology development and transfer that enhance sustainability of food production systems;
  3. Include safeguards which protect biodiversity, equitable access to resources by rural peoples, food security, the right to food, the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, as well as the welfare of farm animals, while promoting poverty reduction and climate adaptation;
  4. Explore opportunities to sustainably reduce emissions from the agricultural sector; and
  5. Reduce emissions from the conversion of other land to agriculture.
  6. For developing country agriculture the priorities should be sustainability, climate resilience, and food security, and Parties must provide resources for promoting biodiverse, resilient small-scale agriculture and appropriate technology development and transfer.

Developed countries must progress toward full and comprehensive accounting of the emissions associated with their agricultural activities, including bioenergy production and use.

Thank you.

 

CAN Annual Policy Document: "Warsaw on the Road to Paris"

Executive Summary

Through a series of decisions adopted at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, countries reaffirmed their resolve to tackle climate change. They further built on those decisions at COP 18 in Doha, Qatar. This resolve is yet to be put into action as global emissions continue to push the world towards warming of 4 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century.

However, the Earth's planetary limits and thus tipping points of its ecosystem have almost been reached. There have been devastating impacts of climate change across the world in the form of super storms, floods, droughts and enhanced extreme weather events. Climate change impacts are costing countries scarce financial resources while the global economy continues facing a major downturn. Impacts are addressed temporarily as the root cause remains unaddressed.

Lack of political will continues to be the key impediment crippling progress in the UNFCCC. Inadequacy of financial resources has hampered ambitious mitigation actions. It has also slowed down effective operationalization of mechanisms meant to help the world cope with impacts of climate change. Key issues such as equity as well as loss and damage wait to be addressed adequately.

It is time that countries catch up with the reality of climate change. Displaying leadership and courage to take difficult decisions is the need of the hour. Lack of political will should not continue to impede ambitious action to tackle climate change.

CAN wishes to remind parties that a climate safe pathway for 2/1.5°C is still feasible and nations must strive for it at COP 19 in Warsaw. They only have the luxury of two more COPs to commit to a climate agreement in 2015. Time is of essence and there are still many unresolved issues - lack of trust between countries being the prominent one.

COP 19 should be used to start working towards a fair, ambitious and legally binding climate plan for the world. CAN suggests that COP 19, as a priority, should address short-term mitigation ambition and the financial gap. This will help build trust amongst parties and create a positive momentum towards a post 2015 climate regime.

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