Climate smart agriculture offers a triple-win

Climate-smart agriculture has the potential of offering a triple-win for food security and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Photo: P. Casier (CGIAR)

Agriculture contributes largely to climate change by producing 10-12 percent of total global anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and is a primary driver of deforestation from clearing land for food production. Given climate change, a new kind of agriculture is therefore essential, one that must meet the triple challenge of ensuring food security, adapting to climate change and contributing to climate change mitigation.

The importance of including agriculture on the climate change agenda was recently discussed at the Africa Ministerial Climate-Smart Agriculture Conference held in mid-September, on the theme “Climate-Smart Agriculture: A Call to Action”. Read more about the outcome of this meeting on CCAFS blog African ministers support climate smart agriculture for improved food security and an excellent analysis on the World Bank Blog.

Climate-smart agriculture has the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while at the same time still producing food for the world’s increasing population. The approach is essentially about changing food production systems into more resilient and adaptive, 'climate-smart' agricultural practices to ensure food security. Examples of climate-smart agricultural practices include conservation agriculture and agroforestry. For more information on climate-smart agriculture: read our Policy Brief: Actions needed to halt deforestation and promote climate-smart agriculture (PDF). Read also the newly released policy brief on Opportunities and Challenges for Climate-Smart Agriculture in Africa (PDF).

The World Bank promotes climate-smart agriculture as a “triple-win”, which enhances productivity, resilience and carbon sequestration. For more, view the video below.


Climate-smart agriculture will be highlighted by the CGIAR climate program and its partners at the third annual Agriculture and Rural Development Day on 3 December in Durban. It will put forward options by which rural people can achieve all the untapped potential that agriculture possesses such as: reducing poverty, bolstering food security, adapting to climate change, reduceing pressure on natural resources, and in many places lowering greenhouse gas emissions. For this to be realised farmers, fishers, and pastoralists must urgently become “climate-smart,” especially in the developing world, which will be hit hardest by climate change impacts.

Visit the World Bank Climate Smart Agriculture website for more information.