The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), UN Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Resources Institute (WRI) have conducted a detailed analysis of agriculture sub-sector targets in the NDCs.

Find the CCAFS briefs and 2021 NDC database here

Key messages
  • NDCs have somewhat increased their commitments to adaptation and mitigation in agriculture. 
  • 50-70% of the countries with the highest potential for reducing GHG emissions in livestock, rice or soil carbon included mitigation measures in these subsectors in their NDCs.   
  • Current levels of ambition in agriculture are far from enough to meet the sector’s share of the 2 or 1.5 degree targets. 
  • Countries still lack information and capacity to develop and monitor mitigation and adaptation targets for their NDCs. New partnerships, private and public finance and breaking down silos in government agencies are needed. 
  • Setting ambition is important, but action and accountability for implementation are what matters in the end. 41% of new/updated NDCs indicate that the private sector has a key role to play in facilitating NDC implementation. 
  • Finance needs remain a massive constraint. NDCs should include measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of progress on implementation.
  • New/updated NDCs include somewhat more subsectoral detail and transparency for rice, livestock and soil carbon. Consistency in target indicators and timelines is essential for transparency and accountability.

    Findings on adaptation in the agriculture sector:

    • 70% of new/updated NDCs prioritize adaptation in cropping systems, particularly water resource management, climate-tolerant varieties and on-farm soil management
    • 81% of new/updated NDCs prioritize adaptation in livelihood, health or economic systems, particularly credit and insurance services. One third call for improved climate information services.
    • Only 14% of developing country new/updated NDCs include gender-responsive indicators in the agricultural sectors
    • One-third of adaptation actions in the agricultural sector contain measurable indicators to track adaptation targets
    • 41% of new/updated NDCs indicate that the private sector has a key role to play in facilitating NDC implementation in the agriculture sector.
    • 92% of developing countries communicate qualitative finance needs yet only half quantify the amount required for NDC implementation.
    • 35% of developing countries distinguish between adaptation and mitigation finance needs
    • Only 18% of developing countries estimate the cost of NDC implementation in the agricultural sectors

    Click the image for a larger version. Source: Crumpler FAO

    Findings on mitigation for soil carbon, livestock, and rice sub-sectors 

    Based on 148 new or updated NDCs submitted as of November 1, the new/updated NDCs show:

    See this presentation for more information: Rose, CCAFS 2021
    More commitments to soil organic carbon (SOC), much less than the potential Similar commitments to livestockMore commitments to rice 
    View the map of NDCs with SOC mitigation measuresView the map of NDCs with livestock mitigation measuresView the map of NDCs with rice mitigation measures
    • 16% of countries included SOC in mitigation measures in new and updated NDCs (23 of 148 countries) compared to 7% of previous NDCs (13 of 184 countries). 
    • Among the top 10 countries with the highest mitigation potential for SOC in croplands and grasslands, six referred to SOC in mitigation measures (China, United States, Brazil, Australia, Ethiopia, and Canada). Russia and South Africa did not include SOC in their updated NDCs. India and Kazakhstan have not yet submitted a new or updated NDC.   
      • Canada and Brazil added the amount of investments related to SOC.
      • Australia added details on reference indicators for the cost of soil carbon measurement per hectare per year. All of the top 10 countries referred to SOC without quantified indicators, except for Australia which establishes a goal to reduce the cost of soil carbon measurement to under $3 per ha per year.
    • The share of countries with livestock mitigation measures in new and updated NDCs has not significantly changed since the previous round of NDCs.  
      • 34% of countries included livestock mitigation measures in new and updated NDCs (50 of 148 countries) compared to 35% of countries in the previous NDCs (68 of 192 countries). 
    • Among the top 10 countries with the highest mitigation potential for enteric fermentation and manure management, seven referred to livestock in mitigation measures (United States, China, Brazil, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Canada, and New Zealand). Australia and Spain did not include livestock mitigation measures in their updated NDCs. India has not yet submitted a new or updated NDC.
    • The share of countries with rice mitigation measures in new/updated NDCs has increased since the previous round of NDCs. 
      • 17% of countries included rice mitigation measures in new/updated NDCs (25 of 148 countries) compared to 9% of countries in the previous NDCs (17 of 192 countries). 
    • Among the top 10 countries with the highest mitigation potential for rice cultivation, five referred to rice in mitigation measures. Two referred to rice explicitly (Bangladesh and Pakistan), while three referred to crops (China, Indonesia and Vietnam). Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, and Brazil did not include rice mitigation measures in their updated NDCs. India has not yet submitted a new or updated NDC. 
    • Enhanced sub-sector action can improve transparency and enable finance, but many countries still lack data to include quantified measures or targets for sub-sectors and cost-effective monitoring, reporting, and verification remains a constraint. There is a need to promote and develop open-access resources for target development and MRV, especially for LMIC.


    As countries continue to submit new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UNFCCC for the Paris Agreement, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), UN Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Resources Institute (WRI) are conducting a detailed analysis of agriculture sub-sector targets in the NDCs.

    Sub-sector analyses can enhance the clarity, transparency and understanding of NDCs to support their progress by identifying gaps in mitigation targets, finance needs and policy. 

    Past analysis of the NDCs

    In 2016, CCAFS conducted an analysis of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions inclusion of agriculture adaptation and mitigation. In 2019, another analysis of ambition for soil organic carbon protection and sequestration in the first round of NDCs was published (read the Info Note or journal article or read about the webinar on preliminary results). 


    These analyses will increase knowledge on agriculture sub-sector targets, measures, policies and finance in the NDCs and support prioritization and informed decisions in the agriculture sector for significant mitigation outcomes and impacts

    In this webinar, a panel of experts will:

    • Discuss the ambition of current NDCs’ commitments for agriculture; 
    • Share methods and tools for analysis of NDCs; and 
    • Highlight actions to achieve NDCs’ targets.

    The speakers will report on the mitigation targets and adaptation actions, policies, plans and strategies for agriculture, with in-depth analysis for agricultural sub-sectors for soil, livestock and rice. Panelists will answer questions related to ambitious action and implementation of the NDCs.

    Listen to the Global Dispatch Podcast episode from this webinar by Mark Goldberg



    • Welcome, the purpose of webinar and relevance to COP 
    • Why agriculture in the NDCs

    Dhanush Dinesh, Head of Partnerships and Outreach, CCAFS 

    Zitouni Ould-Dada, Deputy Director, OCBD, FAO 



    Krystal Crumpler, Climate Change and Agricultural Specialist, FAO

    Mengpin Ge, Global Climate Program Associate, WRI

    Sabrina Rose, Policy Consultant, CCAFS

    Panel on climate action campaigns

    Are NDCs meeting expectations?

    What is being done to translate commitments into the transformative actions needed?

    Facilitator: Mark Goldberg, Editor, UN Dispatch, Host, Global Dispatch podcast


    Q&A with audience

    Ciniro Costa Jr., Science Officer, Low-Emissions Development, CCAFS

    Closing remarks

    Joanna Francis, Climate and Covid-19 Response and Recovery Adviser, Growth and Resilience Department, FCDO

    Speaker Biographies

    Dhanush Dinesh leads the cross-cutting Learning Platform on Partnerships and Capacity for Scaling Climate-Smart Agriculture, and the CCAFS Program Management Unit office at Wageningen University and Research as Head of Partnerships and Outreach. Prior to joining CCAFS, Dhanush worked as the Coordinator of the Plan Vivo Foundation, managing an international certification scheme for community-based Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). He has filled roles within the private sector, NGOs, and the UN system, in China, India, Thailand, and the UK. He has worked on a range of issues including forestry, environmental policy, climate change adaptation, and advocacy, at the national, regional, and global levels. Dhanush has an interdisciplinary academic background, combining an MBA from PSG Institute of Management and an MSc in Carbon Management from the University of Edinburgh.

    Zitouni Ould-Dada is currently Deputy Director in the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment at the FAO. Before joining FAO, he worked as Head of Technology Unit at UNEP in Paris for 5 years. Prior to that, he worked for both the British and French government on climate change and agriculture. Dr. Ould-Dada is renowned internationally for his strong diplomatic and moderating skills and ability to build collaborative partnerships. His international responsibilities include UK Lead Negotiator on technology and Chair of climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC; Chair of European Union Expert Group on Technology; Chair of IRENA’s Policy and Strategy Committee; Member of International Energy Agency’s Renewable Energy Working Party; Member of UN Inter- Agency Task Team for implementation of Technology Facilitation Mechanism under the 2030 Agenda; and Member of UN Inter-Agency Task Team to develop a UN System-wide Approach to Climate Action for the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit 2019. Dr. Ould-Dada has a BSc in Environmental Engineering from Institut Universitaire de Technologie, Perpignan, France; Master Degree in Environmental Management and Planning, Université de Rennes, France; and PhD in Radiation Protection from Imperial College, London, UK.

    Krystal Crumpler is a Climate Change Specialist in FAO’s Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment and supports the technical implementation of the SCALA programme in East Africa. She brings experience in delivering global- and country-level normative guidance, policy analysis and programmatic technical assistance on climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture and land use sectors since 2015. She also oversees the FAO analytical workstream on NDCs. In a previous position, she supported climate change adaptation and rural poverty reduction programmes in the Caribbean fisheries sector. She holds a master’s degree in international relations and economics with a specialization in sustainable food and agriculture systems.

    Mengpin Ge is an Associate with WRI’s Global Climate Program. She leads data analysis and tool development for the Climate Watch platform and works on country-level GHG inventories as well as countries’ climate commitments in Nationally Determined Contributions and Long-Term Strategies under the Paris Agreement. She also supports various initiatives in tracking climate progress and identifying opportunities for enhanced ambition, utilizing data platforms and data-based tools. Prior to joining WRI, Mengpin earned her M.S. in Energy Science, Technology & Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and B.S. in Environment Science from Nanjing University, China.

    Sabrina Rose is a policy consultant for the CCAFS Flagship on Low-Emissions Development. Sabrina received her master’s degree in International Environmental Policy and Development Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Her research at Tufts focused on climate and agricultural policy in developing countries and covered topics such as climate finance, climate adaptation, and agroecology. Her thesis evaluated the effect of including adaptation in NDCs on adaptation finance. Prior to her graduate studies, Sabrina led greenhouse gas inventory analyses for U.S. federal and state clients as a climate and sustainability consultant at ICF. She earned her B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. 

    Mark Leon Goldberg is the editor of the United Nations and global affairs blog UN Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast.  Mark’s work has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, The American Prospect, Foreign Policy, The Globe and Mail, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The New Republic, and The Daily Beast. He appears regularly as an on-air guest for  Al Jazeera English, National Public Radio, the BBC and HuffPo Live. He has a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University.

    Rebecca Carter focuses on governance issues related to climate resilience, including the transparency, equity and inclusivity of adaptation planning and implementation processes. Her work encompasses mainstreaming adaptation across sectors and at multiple scales from national to local, climate finance, as well as transformative adaptation. Rebecca has worked on climate change issues for much of her career, in academic, non-profit and federal government roles. She has conducted research on why agricultural adaptation will need to be more transformative and how to make it so; the climate change implications of water policies on demand and supply; how to make climate information more useful for diverse user groups; and intersections of land use planning and climate change. Prior to joining WRI, she was a Foreign Service Environment Officer with USAID. She was posted in Indonesia, Uganda and the Philippines, and worked on clean energy, biodiversity conservation, water and sanitation, and forestry issues, in addition to climate resilience. Rebecca earned a Master’s and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

    Hans Loth is Global Head UN Environment Partnership at Rabobank. He is responsible for building and managing the bank’s new strategic partnership, which is a keystone in the bank’s global environmental work. Prior to taking up his current position, Hans fulfilled various general management and strategy roles within the Rabobank Group. Most recently, he was Director Strategy & Business Change for Rabobank Indonesia, where he was responsible for developing and implementing a new strategy for the bank in this key Asian market. Prior to that Hans worked with Rabobank Foundation, as well as Rabobank's corporate banking team, through which he developed a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities of global food value chains – “from Farm to Fork". Hans started his career an international mergers and acquisitions lawyer at a private law firm.

    Nkulumo Zinyengere is an Agriculture Specialist with the World Bank’s Agriculture and Food Global Practice’s Global Unit. He is part of the climate-smart agriculture team and provides support to regional teams for mainstreaming climate into agriculture operations and carries out analytical work, which can lead to the piloting of climate innovation in the agriculture portfolio. Previously, he worked with the Bank’s climate change group, in research and analytics Unit. Before joining the Bank, Nkulumo was project manager and research lead with Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), focusing on mainstreaming climate change in development actions across many countries in Africa. He holds a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Cape Town, and a Masters in Agricultural Meteorology.

    Martina Fleckenstein is the Global Policy Manager of the Food Practice for World Wildlife Fund International (WWF). Martina has over 25 years of experience in national and international environment and development policies, based on a broad knowledge of the implementation of agriculture and sustainable food production projects in different geographies. Currently, she is involved in the preparation of the UN Food Systems Summit working, supporting Action Track 3 “Boosting nature positive production at scale”.

    Ciniro Costa Jr. is a Science Officer for the Low-Emission Development research theme for CCAFS, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. He previously worked with the Institute of Agriculture and Forestry Management and Certification (IMAFLORA) in Brazil for six years. He received a Doctoral degree in Sciences from the University of São Paulo and worked as a Research Scholar at the University of New Hampshire and as a Postdoc fellow at The Woods Hole Research Center. His expertise includes climate change mitigation in the agriculture sector, including GHG emissions and soil carbon accounting and policy analyses. He has worked primarily in Latin America, especially in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado regions.

    Joanna Francis works in the Food Security, Land, and Agriculture team in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Prior to this, she spent two years working as a Livelihoods Adviser in Nigeria with the FCDO, working predominantly on programs focussing on agricultural markets. Before joining the FCDO in 2018, Joanna was the Senior Policy Officer at Concern Worldwide where she led global policy and advocacy on food and nutrition. Joanna has an MSc in Environmental Change and International Development from the University of Sheffield.

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