The debate on agriculture in UN climate change negotiations is shifting from setting the agenda towards building consensus on an action plan. The Agriculture Advantage 2.0 event series at COP24 seeks to inform priorities for action.


The theme of agriculture inhabits a growing space within UN climate negotiations, for instance through the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture. Actors involved in the climate negotiations have started to recognize the importance of agriculture in addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the necessity of discussing this issue on an international platform.


Last year, an alliance of organizations active in the agriculture sector connected with negotiators and national and international organizations through an event series on the potential for adaptation and mitigation in and through agriculture during COP23. In its second iteration, Agriculture Advantage 2.0, the series builds on last year’s experiences, emphasizing the need to move from agenda setting to action.


A system-wide agricultural transformation

During the opening event for the series, keynote speakers and speakers from upcoming events in the series shared their diverse perspectives on what kinds of changes are needed for a transformation of food systems. Victoria Hatton, from the Policy Advantage event, emphasized the need to think about food production from a systems perspective and to address the different elements of the food system together. Evan Girvetz from the CSA Investment Advantage event agreed, and argued that climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is a promising way forward: “We need comprehensive actions across different sectors—not just agriculture—to achieve the transformation needed. CSA can be a catalyst for change across sectors, including finance, policymaking and governance.”


In October this year, the IPCC released a Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, emphasizing the crucial impact of the coming decade on the levels of warming the world will experience. With time against us, now is the time to think about low hanging fruit. Viridiana Alcantara Cervantes, from the Soil Advantage event, pointed to one such option: “Soils are the foundation of our food systems. And they can contribute an impressive 10% to the emissions reduction necessary while also contributing to adaptation goals.”


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