At COP21, held in Paris in November-December 2015, the parties negotiated what is known as the Paris Agreement, which established specific actions and targets for reducing greenhouse gases emissions, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, and financing mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries. The agreement took effect nearly a year later. Signatory countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius and to make strong efforts to keep the rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement is especially significant because it is a legally binding agreement.
Fiji is presiding over COP23 in Bonn with the support of the Government of Germany.
Both part of the cause of climate change, but also part of the solution, agriculture is central to any debate on global warming and extreme weather events. The interactions between the agricultural sector and climate change have undeniable implications for both global food security and our environment. Despite this global significance, and perhaps due to the complexity of the subject, there has been little progress to date on agriculture in the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. Although COP17 in Durban made issues relating to agriculture in an agenda item under the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the process has failed to conclude and determine concrete next steps. However, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) under the Paris Agreement overwhelmingly prioritise the sector for climate action. 119 countries include agricultural mitigation in their INDCs, and of the 138 countries that include adaptation, almost all (127) include agriculture as a priority. Agriculture is also key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals set by countries.
CTA co-organized and/or gave technical presentations in three sessions in a series of side events at COP23 for setting an agenda for transforming agricultural development in the face of climate change.
Olu Ajayi attended the special side events at the EU pavilion. One of the sessions that was organized by DG CLIMA focused on “Climate Information: Communicating without borders about climate change for disaster reduction and risk”. One of the key component of the “communication without borders” identified is the need for an increasing integration of indigenous knowledge on climate change. Another session at the EU pavilion on “Climate services for SIDS and Developing Countries” focused on sharing of the lessons learnt on the application of climate services to different sectors.