It is apparent that given the vastly different positions on climate change mitigation, progress towards a global climate agreement is going to be incredibly slow.
Negotiations around agriculture also have some sticking points, notably related to "trade", "open economic systems" etc. This year,
the negotiations have been painfully slow, in Bangkok and then in Bonn, with much time spent discussing the agenda. In Cancun, the agricultural negotiating text, calling for a SBSTA work program on agriculture, was removed from what became the Cancun Agreement. And so what remained was largely agriculture as a driver of deforestation. Given agriculture's crucial role in food security, and the extremely negative impacts of climate change on agriculture, this situation is not positive.
At least, the agriculture negotiating text (PDF) reappeared in the recent talks in Bonn. However, this text has not been agreed on yet -
it will be reconsidered at the UNFCCC meetings later this year. This text is more or less the same as the pre-Cancun text though there appears to be more wording related to protecting agricultural development from any actions taken in response to climate change. And the current text has some added text that implies that agriculture should not be part of market-based mechanisms to reduce GHGs
"Recognizing that adaptation for developing country Parties is the utmost priority and that market-based mechanisms, particularly offsets, for mitigation in the agriculture sector will not achieve the necessary emission reductions due to, inter alia, non-permanence, additionality and leakage"
Many of these same issues around permanence, additionality and leakage have been raised for REDD+; this seems an important area for research, given the key decisions that are going to be made in the coming months and years at the UNFCCC.
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)