Climate change and agriculture under the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change and related documents

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    Agriculture contributes to climate change to a considerable extent. Agriculture is also among the sectors that will suffer the largest negative impacts of climate change, for which, consequently, huge adaptation efforts are needed. At the same time this sector faces the challenge of feeding a growing world population that is getting richer, leading to a tremendous increase in demand for agricultural products between now and 2050. Yet agriculture has only played a marginal role in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. Because emissions from agriculture have been rising on a yearly basis since 1990, and because the increase in demand for agricultural products (both for food and for biofuels) will cause emissions to rise further, agriculture can no longer be ignored in international negotiations. The Paris Agreement, though, is not expected to drastically change the role of agriculture in the international legal framework on climate change mitigation and adaptation. This chapter critically assesses the current and potential role of the UNFCCC and related documents, most importantly the Kyoto Protocol, in addressing the combined challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to changing climate while increasing productivity for the agricultural sector. The chapter first focuses on mitigation, next addresses adaptation and then briefly looks ahead by reviewing the Paris Agreement, which was finalized at the UNFCCC’s COP21 in December 2015.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationResearch handbook on climate change and agricultural law
    EditorsMary Jane Angelo, Anél du Plessis
    Place of PublicationCheltenham
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Electronic)978 1 78471 064 4
    ISBN (Print)978 1 78471 063 7
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

    Publication series

    NameResearch Handbooks in Climate Law
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing


    • climate smart agriculture
    • climate change
    • climate law


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