Photo Credit: Mission Innovation

Agriculture played a leading role in the UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP22), held in November in Marrakesh, Morocco. This year’s conference theme was “Africa, Adaptation, and Agriculture”; the event focused on helping countries establish specific strategies to achieve the agreement reached at COP21 (the Paris Agreement) to cap climate change below two degrees Celsius of warming in this century.

COP22 culminated with the launch of the Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action, which provides a coherent framework for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The Marrakesh Partnership specifically calls for the regular meeting of Party and Non-Party stakeholders to collectively identify barriers to the adoption of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions, track progress, and create a platform of climate initiatives and best practices. The Partnership proposes a thematic approach to climate change adaptation, splitting such action into land use; oceans and coastal zones; water; human settlements; transportation; energy; and industry. The action plan will also take a multi-stakeholder approach, including policymakers, civil society, the private sector, financial institutions, cities and other subnational authorities, and local communities and indigenous peoples.

COP22 also reaffirmed developed countries’ pledge of USD 100 billion by 2020 to support climate action. Prior to the Conference, African countries also pledged USD 30 billion by 2020 as part of the new Adaptation of African Agriculture Initiative (AAA). This new initiative focuses on improved management of soils, water, and climate risk and will provide a platform for national governments, farmer organizations, and civil society actors to share adaptation success stories and lessons learned. The AAA supports the region’s existing recognition of agriculture’s importance as both a driver and a victim of climate change, as well as the sector’s potential to help countries meet their climate change adaptation goals. According to the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), more than 90 percent of African countries have included agriculture in their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for achieving the Paris Agreement’s adaptation and mitigation targets.

There were a number of side events throughout the week of the Conference as well, including events organized by CTA and the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and featuring the participation of IFPRI researchers.

COP23 will be held in Bonn, Germany in November 2017.

By: Sara Gustafson, IFPRI

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