UNFCCC Summarizes Solutions for Agri-Food Chain, Adaptation Finance
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The 2019 Summary for Policymakers focuses on mitigation in the agri-food chain and adaptation finance.

The report shares solutions to reduce energy and water use during both pre- and post-harvest phases.

The report recommends aligning finance flows with finance needs and increasing understanding of the needs of end users of climate finance.

In preparation for the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC, the UNFCCC Secretariat released a Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the 2019 Technical Examination Processes (TEP) on Mitigation and Adaptation, outlining technical and financial solutions to climate change. The report aims to send the message that solutions exist, and highlights the increasing number of non-Party stakeholders that are taking climate action.

The 2019 SPM focuses on mitigation in the agri-food chain and adaptation finance. The report states that primary food production is resource intensive and relies heavily on fossil fuel-based energy, fertilizer use and water, resulting in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental impacts. The report emphasizes that agri-food systems “remain a major contributor to climate change,” and recognizes that insufficient finance and technical capacity limit the uptake and replication of innovative technologies at a larger scale. In addition, the report observes that integrated policy planning approaches are necessary for nature-based mitigation and circular economy solutions to reduce energy and irrigation needs.

To address these challenges, the report shares solutions to reduce energy and water use during both pre- and post-harvest phases, from solar irrigation systems in India that result in zero-emissions systems and reduce farmers’ operating costs to solar-powered milk cooling systems in Kenya and solar cacao bean driers in Cameroon. The report also highlights circular economy solutions such as using wastewater to recover nutrients for crop production, and nature-based solutions that can help capture water, filter pollutants and preserve plant genetic diversity.

To replicate and scale up these types of solutions, the report recommends that governments establish enabling policy and regulatory frameworks to incentivize the agri-food sector, such as providing incentives to reduce import restrictions and tariffs for clean technologies. Other suggested incentives include promoting the update of new farming practices and ending fossil fuel subsidies. The report further recommends, inter alia: creating a policy and regulatory environment that promotes effective public-private partnerships (PPPs); building confidence among end users, including through testing and piloting schemes, and enabling uptake such as through hands-on guidance and demonstration to show farmers and producers how to incorporate innovations into their daily practices and build their implementation capacity.

On adaptation finance, the report finds that public and private actors are frequently unaware of what type of financing is already available and what financing options are best suited to which adaptation projects. Consequently, it notes, many companies lack the understanding needed to develop the business case for adaptation action. The report therefore recommends aligning finance flows with finance needs and increasing understanding of the needs of end users of climate finance. Further recommendations focus on, inter alia: catalyzing adaptation finance, including through National Adaptation Plans (NAPs); incentivizing private investment in scaling up adaptation finance; commercializing adaptation technologies; increasing transparency of adaptation finance; and boosting the role of public-private partnerships.

The UNFCCC Technical Examination Processes on Mitigation and Adaptation were launched in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Technical Expert Meetings are held annually under these processes to identify effective responses to climate change related to technology, policy, business and finance and to promote cooperative climate action. [Publication: Technical Expert Meetings 2019: Summary for Policymakers] [UNFCCC Press Release


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