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Organic Agriculture and Climate Change








Scialabba, N. E.-H., & Müller-Lindenlauf, M. (2010). Organic agriculture and climate change. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 25(2), 158–169. Cambridge University Press.


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    Book (stand-alone)
    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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    Book (series)
    Adoption of climate technologies in the agrifood sector. Methodology 2017
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    The food production and supply chain consumes about 30 percent of total end-use energy globally, and contributes to over 20 percent of total annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (excluding emissions or sinks from land use change). A growing worldwide population, changing diets and growing economic development will all serve to increase competition for land, water and energy resources – which already face problems of environmental degradation and, in some cases, scarcity. To address these challe nges, agrifood systems at every scale, from the small family farm to the vertically integrated corporate farm level, will have to become more efficient by using less land, water, fertilizers, energy and other inputs to produce more food more sustainably, and with greater resilience to weather pattern changes and extreme events. Technology adoption is bound to play an important part in this adjustment process. There are significant regional variations in the ability to respond to these challenges . In particular, countries that face food insecurity naturally put concerns over GHG emission reductions or other environmental issues in second place. Still, in specific situations technology adoption can help reduce a country’s environmental footprint and go hand in hand with both improved food security and rural development. The goal of this document is therefore to provide guidance in assessing options for GHG emission reductions and decoupling the agrifood industry from its dependency on fo ssil fuels in a context where various goals are important: increased crop productivity, efficient use of water, improved livelihoods for the rural poor, and sustainable development. As a contribution to quickly expanding literature on the subject, the present document provides a practical methodology to enable a country or funding agency to assess and monitor the market penetration of sustainable climate technologies and practices in agrifood chains. Market penetration is defined as a measure of the adoption of an agrifood technology or practice in a specific market. The guidelines are useful not only to estimate the current market penetration, but also – and more importantly – to assess the potential for further adoption and to reduce GHG emissions efficiently. The methodology therefore takes into consideration important features of each technology including: market potential, technical and non-technical barriers to adoption and unit cost in terms of US dollars per tonnes of carbon di oxide equivalent (USD/tCO2eq). The result is a characterisation of a set of technologies and practices which can lead to identification of “best bet” options to reduce emissions from the agrifood sector on the basis of local conditions. Moreover, the results include a discussion of policy areas that may need reform, and specifically what can be the drivers to promote adoption of such best bet technology options.
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    Document
    Initial Results of the Carbon Balance Appraisal on the Agriculture Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS) Project in Uganda EX-ACT Software for Carbon-Balance Analysis of Investment Projects
    Applied Work. EASYPol Module 119
    2012
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    Agriculture can play an important role in climate change mitigation while contributing to increased food security and reductions in rural poverty. The Ex-Ante Carbonbalance Tool (EX-ACT) can estimate the mitigation potential of rural development projects/programmes brought on by changes in farming systems and land use. This study presents and discusses the EX-ACT analysis performed on a multi-donorsupported (World Bank, EU, IDAD, GEF, Danida) project in Uganda (the Agricultural Technology and Ag ribusiness Advisory Services Project - ATAAS). Based on projected estimates, the impact of project activities on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration show that the mitigation benefits achieved through the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices (intensification of agricultural lands without deforestation, improved cropland and grassland management, soil and water conservation) can balance the emissions associated with the increase in inputs use and petrol consumption due to t he project. Three simulations have been carried out: first using the direct objectives of the ATAAS project; then reviewing the objectives of the project from a more pragmatic point of view; and finally reviewing the assumptions made to build the baseline scenario. The study shows possible synergies between mitigation and rural development goals, and puts forward possible options for the financing of proposed improvements.

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