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Sustainable saline agriculture for climate adaptation and mitigation: A call for action









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    Potential conflicts between agricultural trade rules and climate change treaty commitments.
    The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO) 2018: Background paper
    2018
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    Climate change – among its many other challenges – also affects the conditions of competition along the whole food value chain. This article posits that many mitigation and adaptation policies imply a differentiation between otherwise identical products but with different carbon footprints. Where imports are affected, there is a potential for trade frictions. The main issue appears to be a climate-smart treatment of like products with different (non-product-related) production and processing methods (ppm). Now that national governments start implementing their commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, they have to closely look at the trade and investment impact of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The NDCs presently available remain silent on concrete measures involving product differentiation according to footprint differences, be it by way of border adjustment measures, subsidies, prohibitions, or restrictions. The non-discrimination principle enshrined in the multilateral trading system can be a problem for such differentiations. No climate-smart agricultural measures have yet been notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO). But several renewable energy programmes have been found to violate WTO rules. Potential problems could arise, for instance, from differentiating tariffs, import restrictions or taxes according to carbon footprint. Conditions of competition might even be affected by labels signalling products with a bigger (or a “climate-friendly”) footprint, or through subsidies and incentives compensating domestic producers subject to emissions reductions, prohibitions, and input restrictions. A second major problem lies in the way the Paris Agreement and the WTO address the Development Dimension. In the Paris Agreement, the Development Dimension is addressed by the notion of Common but Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR), leaving Parties free in terms of how they take development into account in their NDCs. On the other side, the Special and Differentiated Treatment (SDT) foreseen in all WTO agreements for developing country products and services appears incapable of dealing with the global impact of all emissions, regardless of their origin, or with the negative impact on developing country exports to climate-smart markets in developed countries. In conclusion, we suggest that a review of the climate-relevant trade and investment rules is necessary at the international level, involving climate, and agriculture and trade regulators, supported by scientific, economic and legal expertise. The purpose of this review is to avoid litigation jeopardising the implementation of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, such a review must be comprehensive, because the objective is to ensure maximum policy space for climate mitigation and adaptation without negatively affecting other countries, or unduly restricting trade and investment, especially in poor developing countries. Last but not least, this intergovernmental and inter-institutional review is urgent, because the results should provide as quickly as possible the legal security necessary for investors and operators, regulators, NDC developments and reviews, and international standard-setting processes.
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    Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture Publications 2010-2015 2014
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    Since 2010 the Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA) Programme has contributed to making agriculture more climate-smart. The programme complements other FAO and United Nations efforts to address climate change and collaborates with the UN-REDD Programme in the reduction of deforestation. The technical information presented in these publications and briefs reflects several years of research and practical field work carried out by the MICCA team in collaboration with partners. The te chnical information supports negotiation processes undertaken through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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    Report of the 2020 WASAG Webinar Series 2024
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    In 2020, amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemiological situation, the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG) has continued to work on addressing pressing issues related to water scarcity in agriculture in a changing climate.WASAG organized a series of webinars to pursue its mandate under new digital means, as webinars were recognized as an opportunity to quickly adapt to the new current challenges.Using the combine expertise and resources of its many Partners, WASAG presented a variety of topics related to water scarcity and agriculture to WASAG Partners, stakeholders and the interested public. These topics included water and gender, financing mechanisms, water and nutrition, drought preparedness, sustainable agriculture water use and saline agriculture which also include promoting quinoa as a drought and salt-tolerance crop.With ten webinars organized between May and December 2020, this report highlights the key messages given by a wide variety of speakers that participated in making this new initiative a real success.It is expected that this report will lead to more in-depth capacity development in the several topics discussed, to collaboration in developing and implementing projects addressing these topics and to offering a variety of innovative solutions to the communities, countries and regions that have to cope with water scarcity in agriculture.

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