With the adoption of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC, 1992) and the Kyoto Protocol (1997), climate change has been internationally recognised as an anthropogenic (man-made) problem with significant long-term economic, societal, and environmental effects.
Climate change is of great concern to rapidly developing Asian countries. Their agricultural systems are highly vulnerable to climate-related risks, while their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly increasing.
On the other hand, European countries are struggling to achieve their climate-change mitigation commitments, and most of them have not yet embarked on adaptation. To fulfil the leadership role Europe wants to take in climate policy, development of an integrated mitigation and adaptation strategy is necessary. This is particularly important for the agricultural sector, which has traditionally been exempt from stringent mitigation measures.
This ENVforum discussion on integrated approaches for mitigation and adaptation addressed these issues, focusing on spurring action towards a broader and more balanced approach to the post-2012 climate policy strategy.
– Agriculture has always adapted to meteorological developments. Anthropogenic climate change introduces stronger stresses and thus requires targeted adaptation.
– Agriculture is an emission-intensive sector that should deliver its share of greenhouse gas mitigation.
– There is a need to stress linkages between rural development, sustainable agricultural practices, adaptation, and mitigation.