Agriculture and climate change: a scoping report

Agriculture and climate change: a scoping report

Contextualising and analysing agriculture in international climate negotiations

This scoping report provides context and analysis for addressing agriculture in international climate negotiations with the aim of informing climate negotiators and other stakeholders of different options and unpacking issues of interest. It observes that agriculture is characterised by a number of special features that distinguish it from other sectors, like producing food and meeting basic survival needs. Its context and site-specific nature makes uniform strategies and solutions ineffective and, unlike other sectors, it is directly affected by climate change. Therefore, it has adaptation needs, mitigation potential and complex links to food security, trade, land use and forestry policies.

The report outlines the following contextual issues that need to be considered.

  • Transformation of agriculture to meet growing demand for food provides opportunities to build synergies and manage trade-offs across the multiple objectives of food security, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  • Agriculture offers a wealth of opportunities to deliver simultaneously on improving agricultural resilience to climate change, increasing food production and lowering emissions.
  • From a food accessibility and availability perspective, agricultural trade offers the potential to balance productivity losses and offset shifts in production patterns.
  • Early action can build confidence, capacity and knowledge in preparation for agricultural adaptation and mitigation actions and economic development efforts.
  • Agriculture is one of the main drivers of deforestation; integrated land use planning, landscape and ecosystem approaches are thus required to consolidate multiple objectives within broader efforts to plan and manage land use.
  • Finance, technology and capacity building are essential to motivate larger scale adaptation efforts and emission reductions from the agricultural sector.
  • Strengthening existing agricultural monitoring and evaluation systems is essential to implementing effective climate response measures and for performance and benefit measurements.
The report concludes that climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agricultural sector must be pursued in the context of meeting projected global food production demands. Moreover, early action holds great potential for countries to take positive action, which can inform national and international policy, finance and science.
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