Impacts through policies and partnerships

V. Atakos (CCAFS)
Outcomes & Impacts

Agriculture is integrated into Paris UNFCCC agreement

Priorities and Policies for CSA

The very significant role of agriculture in climate change has been underrepresented in previous years’ discussions and agreements in the UNFCCC process. Aided by several years of engagement by CCAFS and partners in the global agriculture community, including a large push prior to the December 2015 climate conference, issues directly related to agriculture, such as food production and security are explicitly mentioned in the Paris Agreement concluded by the UNFCCC at its 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in 2015.

Agriculture-related issues in the Paris Agreement

  • Food security and the agreement
  • Food, farming and climate change
  • Agriculture’s prominence in the INDCs
  • 80% of INDCs committed to action on agricultural mitigation
  • 90% of INDCs that include adaptation selected agriculture as a priority sector for action
V. Atakos (CCAFS)

Food security is prominent in the Paris Agreement. The preamble makes specific reference to safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and one Article details the importance of protecting food production when reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Human rights, gender, ecosystems and biodiversity, all issues central to agriculture, are also featured

The Paris Agreement recognizes: “the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change.”

To ensure that a new climate change deal would not close the door on agriculture, CCAFS scientists provided several analyses on agriculture in the climate change negotiations, informing users about critical issues. They continued this engagement through more than a dozen events during the Paris meetings. The work was led by the CCAFS Coordinating Unit, hosted by the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), in collaboration with researchers and partners from across the programme.

CCAFS researchers also prepared material that informed the inputs of various parties into UNFCCC processes. Parties and observers to the UNFCCC used CCAFS briefs to understand how agriculture should be addressed in the agreement. CCAFS authors also produced submissions and interventions on agriculture for the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). In 2015–2016, the African Group of Negotiators worked closely with CCAFS scientists to prepare its own submissions. Kenya and Costa Rica, among others, benefitted from advice in developing intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs).

Staff and collaborators worked with policy and research partners to provide information on the role of agriculture and food security through the UNFCCC Structured Expert Dialogue. Four submissions were made to the UNFCCC SBSTA Call on Agriculture in 2015, and a Toolkit to the UNFCCC Negotiations on Agriculture, produced with Farming First and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) was widely shared with agriculture advocates, to help them engage effectively at COP21. The toolkit also included a new section on gender and social inclusion in the context of agricultural development.

Aided by such input from CCAFS and its partners, the result was that food security was given prominence in the agreement: 80% of parties to the UNFCCC have included agriculture in their mitigation targets and 90% of those that include adaptation measures also list agriculture as a priority. A CCAFS analysis of the COP21 outcomes was widely read and shared by the global agriculture community and in the media. CCAFS briefs were downloaded more than 6 000 times in the 4 weeks surrounding COP21 and continue to be a source of information as agriculture remains on the agenda in the 2016–2017 SBSTA process.