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November 29, 2010

Will they get it right in Cancún?

The United Nations two-week long meeting on climate change begins today. In Cancún, Mexico, governments will have yet another opportunity to commit to a new global action plan to save the planet. For civil society organizations like IATP it is a unique opportunity to connect with and learn from farm organizations, scientists, academics and activists from around the world. Throughout these two weeks, IATP staff will be reporting on the Cancún climate meeting—from the negotiating halls to the various civil society meetings and protests.

Today, IATP released a new series of papers focusing on challenges and solutions for agriculture and climate change. Below is our press release with links to each of the papers in the series:

Governments at Cancún climate talks need to support local solutions
IATP releases new ‘Climate and Agriculture’ series

CANCÚN, MEXICO – Governments attending the global climate talks in Cancún, which begin today, need to abandon loophole-ridden carbon markets and support bottom-up climate solutions that integrate equity, food security and democratic participation, according to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

Today, IATP released a new series of papers focusing on agriculture and climate change. The series covers issues related to agricultural practices, climate finance and adaptation strategies. IATP is sending six staff members to the United Nations climate talks in Cancún and is hosting an official side event on climate-friendly agriculture, as well as speaking at a number of civil society workshops.

“Climate negotiators, led by the U.S., are too distracted by trying to set up unworkable rules for a new carbon market that will primarily benefit big financial players and the big polluting countries,” said IATP President Jim Harkness. “We need to get back to basics by strengthening commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, supporting local efforts and fulfilling funding obligations to countries struggling to adapt to the effects of climate change.” 

IATP’s new series emphasizes that negotiators in Cancún should not consider agriculture as simply an offset for polluters. Rather, agriculture has a multifunctional role in society to strengthen food security, protect the environment and provide livelihoods for people around the world. Papers in the series include:

“Financing Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change: A Modest Beginning,” by Steve Suppan – Proposes concrete short-term options for financing climate change adaptation in developing countries.

“Women at the Center of Climate-friendly Approaches to Agriculture and Water,” by Shiney Varghese – Profiles the agricultural practices of the Tamilnadu Women’s Collective in India that both mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“Grain Reserves: A Smart Climate Adaptation Policy,” by Sophia Murphy – Makes the connection between efforts to ensure food security and climate change adaptation.

“A Farm Bill for a Cooler Planet,” by Julia Olmstead and Jim Kleinschmit – Examines how the U.S. Farm Bill could support practices that both mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“The New Climate Debt: Carbon Trading Wrapped in a Green Bond Proposal,” by Steve Suppan – Analyzes a climate finance proposal by the International Emissions Trading Association that would enrich global carbon traders.

You can read all of the papers in IATP’s climate series, as well as blog reports from Cancún by IATP staff, at www.iatp.org/climate.

To hear directly from farmers on how climate change is affecting their lives, see IATP’s new Voices of Agriculture and Climate website at www.climateandagriculture.org.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. www.iatp.org

 

Ben Lilliston

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johnny

I dont understand how climate change is not on the top of Mexico's agenda. They need to figure out the solution whether its carbon tax or something else. This world is more important that big business, but tell that to Mexico's Capitalist neighbors to the north. IATP President Jim Harkness. “We need to get back to basics by strengthening commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, supporting local efforts and fulfilling funding obligations to countries struggling to adapt to the effects of climate change.” I think he is bang on right here. I know it sounds completely idealistic, but what else should be happening at this point? What do you guys think of NAFTA's involvement in this?

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