Although it is difficult to make a synthetic and conclusive assessment of the results of the last Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP27, it is possible to identify partial progress and project into the future.
At a global level, the main concern lies in the scant progress of the negotiations on how far to go in the gradual elimination of fossil fuels, considered the main stumbling block to achieve the goal of a global temperature increase of only 1.5% over the pre-industrial levels. The current geopolitical situation conspired so that no progress was achieved, beyond including some concept on renewable energies.
In contrast, progress was made on the issue of financing, with the creation of a “loss and damage” fund to deal with the effects of climate change, particularly in the most vulnerable countries. Something very relevant for Latin America and the Caribbean and a change with respect to the prevailing position, which suggested that the already existing financing structure for the climate issue was the one that should take care of these problems.
The operational modalities of this fund remain to be defined, including its magnitude and who the contributors will be —which should be done in 2023— but what has been decided implies a significant modification and a response, even partial, to the increasingly frequent and destructive climatic events. the impact they have on weaker countries.
The final text of the declaration puts on the table the need for international financial institutions to be an integral part of the global fight against climate change, something very important given the magnitude and transformative capacity that these organizations have on the global economy.
Progress was made on the issue of financing, with the creation of a “loss and damage” fund to deal with the effects of climate change, particularly in the most vulnerable countries.
For the first time, the operative text refers to the need for specific actions on the oceans, forests and agriculture, linking this to food security, as a fundamental priority for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the one referring to the elimination of hunger.
In parallel, it is proposed to establish a joint working group on the implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security. Activities related to agriculture should continue with a broader vision of its relationship with food security and with the participation of the UN and other relevant entities, academia, the private sector and civil society, including producer organizations. The group must report on its deliberations and proposals to the 2026 COP and to the different bodies of the Convention.
Agriculture is part of the solution
This is a significant advance. Although it is true that in the previous COPs neither agriculture nor food had been mentioned, the issue of food systems, the main theme of the UN Summit on Food Systems in 2021, is still not included. the approach to what agriculture can contribute to mitigation efforts and, especially, its capacity to serve as a carbon sink, is deepened.
From the perspective of our region, the Americas, great opportunities open up regarding the role of agriculture in sustainable development strategies. The magnitude of the natural resources on which it rests and its weight in international markets make it a strategic component of global food, nutritional and environmental security.
The challenge is to bring this vision to the negotiations, incorporating the empirical dimension of our agriculture, which, far from being part of the problem, is clearly part of the solution, with its high levels of efficiency and sustainability. Even more important is to consolidate in our countries that the future admits only sustainable and inclusive productive strategies.
We have taken very valuable steps for that. One is the consensus message of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas given on the eve of COP27, which emphasizes the importance of agriculture as an instrument for the tasks of mitigation and adaptation to climate change and its indispensable contributions to the economic and social strength of our societies.
The magnitude of the natural resources on which it rests [la agricultura] and its weight in international markets make it a strategic component of global food, nutritional and environmental security
This message assumes the commitment to strengthen the presence of the Ministries and Secretariats of Agriculture and Livestock in the national, hemispheric and global climate discussion spheres, a commitment that began to materialize through the presence of ministers and secretaries of the Americas in the COP held in Sharm El Sheikh. Also, in the activities of the House of Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas pavilion, installed at this Summit by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) together with more than 40 partners from the public and private sectors, under the slogan “Feeding the World, Caring for the Planet”.
We must now transform the general consensus into a work plan with specific actions.
A road map seems to be clear: Sustainable Agriculture, based on science and innovation and with the leading role of its farmers, has to be part of the solution to the problems that hinder the development of Humanity.
You can follow PLANETA FUTURO on Twitter, Facebook and instagramand here to our newsletter.