NFU takes the virtual international climate stage

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Organised to keep climate action on track in the face of the covid crisis, the international ‘Climate Dialogues’ in November 2020 provided a platform for governments and other stakeholders to showcase progress made and to continue the exchange of views and ideas.

Workshops under the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture covered livestock, and the socio-economic and food security dimensions of climate change. Harry Clark of the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre called for recognition of the broad role of livestock beyond the sector’s climate impact and how a balanced discussion on the subject was urgently required. He also stressed the importance of reducing livestock emissions to enable the world to meet its climate goals.  The NFU had a seat at the table during the livestock discussion and asked how research could better support decision-making by farmers and how farmers could be supported to collect data to improve GHG calculations.

During the Open Dialogue to facilitate climate ambition within a green post-covid recovery John Davies NFU Cymru President spoke on behalf of the entire Farmers Constituency. The UK government heard John’s messages on the need for finance, skills, technology and locally appropriate solutions (see John speak from 48:25 to 50:40 in this video).

Just over a week later, on the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Climate Ambition Summit heard from those governments which are already showing greater climate ambition. Countries like Australia deemed to not be showing sufficient climate ambition were not invited to speak.

This was followed by a high level event on the role of the agricultural sectors in achieving the Paris Agreement and building back better.  There was a lot of emphasis on agriculture as a solution, playing a key role in combatting climate change despite being the sector most vulnerable to climate change.  Nick Bridge, Special Envoy on Climate Change for the UK's Foreign Secretary highlighted the UK government’s dialogue on sustainable land use and trade in forest and agricultural commodities like soya and palm oil.  The aim is for countries to take collaborative actions that promote trade and development while protecting forests.