Agriculture on the agenda: Paris Climate Conference

America’s US National Public Radio website carried an article by Alastair Bland, Carbon Farming Gets A Nod At Paris Climate Conference”

las canadas4 farmingCourtesy of Ricardo Romero/Chelsea Green Publishing: Las Cañadas (above) is an ecological cooperative in Veracruz, Mexico, working to sequester carbon and mitigate climate change while producing food, materials, chemicals and energy.

It is reported that – for the first time – world leaders at the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference have made the capture of carbon in soil a formal part of the global response to the climate crisis.

The United Nations Lima-Paris Action Agenda is aimed at “robust global action towards low carbon and resilient societies.” Countries, businesses and NGOs signed on to a series of new commitments under the agenda, including several on agriculture. André Leu, president of IFOAM, an organization that promotes organic agriculture and carbon farming worldwide, said, “This is a game changer because soil carbon is now central to how the world manages climate change.” Read in detail: Iowa Farmers Look to Trap Carbon in Soil and the rest of Bland’s article.

A different priority:

Northern Ireland’s farmer-negotiator William Taylor adds a warning to governments about pointing the finger at livestock methane emissions which are being improved on. He makes the point that these disperse in 20 years – while the corporate food world plays fast and loose with carbon footprints purely for profit, with the Government’s blessing, and the resulting CO2 emissions from the export and import of food take 200 years to disperse.

WT 2 and FFA-NI

Speaking on behalf of Farmers for Action NI, he calls for the introduction of systems like that in the pre-EU Isle of Man system, where regional produce, which must come from the nearest source, must all be used first before any is imported.

Referring to the wasteful and polluting food swap practice, he says that it is not logical for the US to support a climate change conference in Paris and then continue to have the same food (for instance, beef) sailing from UK to the US whilst another ship sails from US to the UK with the same cargo.

Some Americans agree with William:

nrdc logoThe National Resources Defense Council is an environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of more than 2 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of nearly 500 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. The New York Times calls NRDC, “One of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups. From a report on their website:

And by buying local, it means that your food isn’t traveling long distances by planes, trains, trucks, and ships, which all consume energy and spew pollution that contributes to global warming and unhealthy air quality. Plus you get the added benefit of what many chefs are saying is fresher, better tasting food on your table!

Boosting soil carbon? Minimising transport of produce?

Both are valid and important strategies.


One response to “Agriculture on the agenda: Paris Climate Conference

  1. Pingback: Paris conference: food security and climate change mitigation | Food production

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