Countering Climate Change with Organic Agriculture

IFOAM EU organised an event 'Countering Climate Change with Organic Agriculture' in association with the Roundtable on Organic Agriculture and Climate Change (RTOACC) and the Representation of the Veneto Region to the European Union in the Committee of the Regions, Brussels on 11 November 2014. 

Please find available presentations below:

Scientific panel - the benefits of organic farming for climate mitigation and adaptation

Policy panel - What to expect from the international negotiations for agriculture?

The purpose of this event was to work out a strategy for mainstreaming organic farming and agro-ecological approaches in the international climate change negotiations.

The background to this meeting is the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013/2014) - which reaffirmed the pending threat of climate change to our food and farming systems - showing that even a 1°C rise in global temperatures will have a devastating impact on food production and crop yields. Civil society groups have been successful in convincing the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), one of the two permanent subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC, to begin to address issues related to agriculture in June 2014. Meetings of the SBSTA in 2014 and 2015 will be crucial to the development of an official work programme for agriculture. However the recent launch of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture in September 2014 - whose membership comprises multinational corporations, heavily invested in the status quo - risks undermining attempts at real change and simply greenwashing industrialised food and farming systems. In order to develop an effective strategy, a number of questions will be considered at the meeting, including:

  • How can the forthcoming UNFCCC meetings in Lima (2014) and Paris (2015) begin to embrace agro-ecological solutions for countering climate change?
  • In what ways are EU regions already implementing climate-friendly farming practices based on holistic approaches to sustainability?
  • How can organic agriculture systems and the uptake of agro-ecological approaches counter the climate-smart agriculture narrative to help drive reductions in carbon emissions and improve climate resilience?
  • How can organic farming systems and agro-ecological approaches be prioritised in the EU’s forthcoming Climate package to 2030?
  • What other policy tools and investments are still needed to support climate action by the agri-food sector? 

In preparation of the upcoming UNFCCC meetings, the discussions and meeting results will contribute to the development of a strategy for a better uptake of organic farming and agro-ecological approaches in the fight against climate change.


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