World Food Forum

Ignored at COP21, sustainable agriculture is vital to climate mitigation
29 january 2016

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Farming is responsible for 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but COP21 and the Paris Agreement failed to acknowledge the sector’s impact and the positive role it could play. EurActiv France reports.

“Three quarters of French methane emissions come from agriculture,” said Jean Jouzel, the vice-president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“But in spite of this, agriculture was left out of the international climate negotiations. Awareness of this issue is only a recent thing in France and there is a real lack of engagement from the farming community,” he added.

Yet from the field to the plate, via the food industry and distributors, the agricultural sector has an important role to play in climate change.


‘4 per 1,000’ a toothless initiative

The only agricultural solution presented at the COP 21 was the French ‘4 per 1,000’ initiative, a plan to use specific techniques to sequester carbon in the soils. For Gilles Luneau, the producer of a documentary called “climate emergency”, the basic idea is good, but poorly though through.

“It’s a piece of magical thinking,” he said at an agriculture and climate change round table organised by EurActiv and its partner, Ouest France. “Behind the advertised benefits of this programme, we also have to think about the saturation and acidification of the soils.”


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