Deborah Murphy, Matthew McCandless, John Drexhage, IISD, 2010. Paper, 35 pages, copyright: IISD

Agriculture’s profile in the international negotiations on climate change is increasing. Agriculture is responsible for around 14 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and offers relatively cost-effective options for significant emission reductions in the short term. The majority of this mitigation potential in is in developing countries, and actions to mitigate agricultural emissions can have important co-benefits.

Effective mitigation in the agricultural sector will require the participation of developing nations; developed countries, such as Canada, can play an important facilitative role through the provision of capacity building and technology transfer. Focused support for mitigation in the agricultural sector in developing countries could help Canada build its reputation as helpful contributor on agriculture and climate change, and demonstrate leadership on the issue.

This paper examines the options for expanding the role of agriculture in the international climate change regime. The paper reviews the importance of mitigation in the agricultural sector and the outcomes of recent UNFCCC meetings, examining the views and priorities of various countries. Canadian strengths in capacity building and technology transfer for agricultural mitigation are assessed; the concluding section sets out recommendations for Canada to support the meaningful and effective treatment of agriculture in the international climate change regime.

Access the report here.

About the International Institute for Sustainable Development

The world is challenged by a changing climate, biodiversity loss, abject poverty and environmental degradation. What can make a difference? Good ideas. Creativity. Passion. Innovation. The achievement of change.

IISD is in the business of promoting change towards sustainable development. As a policy research institute dedicated to effective communication of our findings, we engage decision-makers in government, business, NGOs and other sectors in the development and implementation of policies that are simultaneously beneficial to the global economy, the global environment and to social well-being.

In the pursuit of sustainable development, we promote open and effective international negotiation processes. And we believe fervently in the importance of building our own institutional capacity while helping our partner organizations in the developing world to excel.

Established in 1990, IISD is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization with a diverse team of more than 150 people located in more than 30 countries. Through our dynamic portfolio of projects, we partner with more than 200 organizations throughout the world. To learn more about our history, please visit the IISD Timeline.

Click here to learn more about our project work and programs, which are guided by our strategic institutional directions. And please visit our IISD Linkages site to follow our coverage of international negotiations on environment and development.

IISD is registered as a charitable organization in Canada and has 501(c)(3) status in the United States. IISD receives core operating support from the Government of Canada, provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Environment Canada, and from the Province of Manitoba. The Institute receives project funding from numerous governments inside and outside Canada, United Nations agencies, foundations and the private sector.