CAN Intervention - SBSTA Opening Plenary - May 14, 2012

 

Mr. Chair, Distinguished Delegates, 
I speak on behalf of Climate Action Network, a global civil society network of over 700 NGOs. There are two  issues I want to speak about and the first is very short, as CAN has pointed out in the past, the status of fossil fuel subsidies should be reported as part of a country’s national communication in order to provide improved transparency on this issue. 
 
Second  CAN appreciates SBSTA's efforts to  discuss agriculture. Clearly food production in many countries is threatened. Every human being depends on agriculture for his/her very sustenance; most of the rural poor in developing countries depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Climate change puts all this at risk. 
 
Agricultural sustainability and enhanced food security, now and in the future, are of critical importance while agricultural activities contribute a significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing these emissions will be critical if we are to achieve the UNFCCC goal of limiting the average global temperature to 1.5 or even 2°C. 
 
Under the Convention, Parties have agreed to prevent dangerous climate change: so as to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. 
 
We recommend that developed countries must progress toward full and comprehensive accounting of the emissions associated with agricultural activities, including bioenergy production and use. For developing country agriculture the priority should be adaptation rather than mitigation. Parties must provide resources for transforming current unsustainable agricultural methods by promoting the development, demonstration, testing and implementation of biodiverse and resilient agriculture together with appropriate technology development and transfer. 
 
Climate-related policies must include safeguards which protect and promote biodiversity, equitable access to resources, food security, the right to food and the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, while promoting poverty reduction and climate adaptation. 
 
Such policies should take into account recommendations from relevant international institutions.
 
If we fail in our efforts to progressively enable farmers to deal with climate change impacts we will see the complete destruction of rural livelihoods and food security in developing countries. 
 
Thank you. 
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