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Integrating Agriculture in International Climate Negotiations

To increase understanding of the role of agriculture in climate change, Meridian worked with UN country negotiators to deepen knowledge, identify solutions, and incorporate agriculture into climate deliberations.

Agriculture can be both a contributor and solution to climate change. This posed a challenge in the United Nations (UN) Climate Negotiations, which originally divided activities into two categories: those that contribute to climate change and those that mitigate it. To build a shared understanding of challenges at the intersection of agriculture and climate change, Meridian brought together UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) country negotiators with technical experts and other key stakeholders—laying the groundwork for a successful integration of agriculture into international climate negotiations.

To kick-start this process, Meridian convened country negotiators in 2010 to identify leading challenges related to agriculture and climate change. Informed by their perspectives, we selected and guided a group of trusted, objective experts to co-design a research approach and draft a comprehensive report. Throughout the drafting process, country negotiators identified the key challenges for researchers to investigate, reviewed and discussed early drafts, and shed light on potential solutions. Post-publication, Meridian hosted informal conversations at UN Conference of the Parties (COP) annual events with country delegations to discuss the report’s insights and continue building a dialogue on agriculture’s climate risks and opportunities.

Country negotiators found such value in the process, they requested that we continue convening them every six months to share insights and discuss challenges related to agriculture’s role in climate change. Ultimately, through the three-year effort, we helped UNFCCC country negotiators build mutual understanding and identify solutions for issues that had previously been siloed or misunderstood. In 2015, the Paris Agreement effectively incorporated agriculture as both a climate change contributor and climate solution—one tangible example of increased recognition of agriculture in the climate community.

Project Team

Learn more about the team that led the Integrating Agriculture in International Climate Negotiations project.