Climate-smart agriculture – an issue of concern

On 23 September, at the Climate Summit, the UN launched a Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture.  More than 20 governments, and 30 organisations and private companies have already announced that they will join.  

The aim of the initiative is to achieve: “Sustainable and equitable increases in agricultural productivity and incomes; greater resilience of food systems and farming livelihoods; and reduction and/or removal of greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture (including the relationship between agriculture and ecosystems), wherever possible.”

In an open letter, 76 civil society organisations, including Greenpeace, ActionAid and Oxfam, criticise the newly formed alliance. They believe that the invitation to participate ignores several fundamental conditions that need to be addressed in order to deal with climate change, food insecurity and the resilience of communities.

They also note that there is no real definition of “Climate-Smart Agriculture” and fears that the term can be used to green-wash agricultural practices that will harm future food production, such as industrial agriculture practices or soil carbon offsetting.

UN Press release, 23 September 

Open letter from civil society

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