PARIS – Due to an initiative launched by France, there is now an international framework that for the first time brings agricultural soils into climate negotiations. Called “4 per 1000,” this new proposal aims to protect and increase carbon stocks in soil.
At the Paris climate negotiations, authorities are starting to pay attention to agriculture as a way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Food production accounts for about one-third of all emissions, yet prior climate conferences have focused almost exclusively on energy production systems such power plants. In an interview, Hans Herren, who co-chaired the UN’s International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development—nicknamed the IPCC report for agriculture—in 2008, spoke about agro-ecology as a climate mitigator.
Food security and agriculture should be at the center of the debate at the UN climate change conference later this year, said the head of FAO and the French agriculture minister. "We believe that agriculture in the broad sense - including forestry, fisheries and aquaculture - can and must play a central role in addressing climate change, particularly in adapting its impacts, such as water scarcity, soil salinity or increasing pests and diseases of plants and animals," said FAO director general Graziano da Silva.