Six months on from COP27 in Egypt, the Bonn climate conference provided a good opportunity for governments to take stock of their climate commitments away from the media spotlight reserved for the COP.
This year is particularly noteworthy in this regard because it sees the first GST (Global Stocktake) come to a close. The GST aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of progress made since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. The NFU and other members of the World Farmers Organisation (of which the NFU is a member) represented the wider farmers' constituency during these discussions to raise climate ambition because the world is not on track to meet the Paris goals.
Close the climate finance gap
NFU climate change adviser and focal point of the wider farmers' constituency Ceris Jones, was the sole farmers’ representative on a roundtable discussing finance, capacity building and technology transfer. With World Bank analysis showing that agriculture has only received 3% of climate finance and only 1.7% to smallholder farmers, the NFU called for the mobilisation of existing finance and highlighted the need to close the finance gap and improve the availability and predictability of support.
Raising farming’s profile in these conversations is important so that governments really do see that agriculture is part of the solution and how numerous measures in farming deliver adaptation and mitigation and multiple other environmental and societal benefits.
The new Sharm el-Sheikh joint work on implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security negotiations got off the ground but whilst government negotiators did find areas of common agreement, the final details for the four year roadmap will have to be hammered out at COP28 in Dubai later this year.
However on the list for future workshops are; co-operation for financing, building capacity and technology transfer for sustainable agriculture and food security, and efforts related to measuring, monitoring, reporting, and verifying climate action for agriculture and food security.
Both these topics are as relevant to the NFU’s discussions with Defra and the devolved administrations as they are in this international space.
Recognise farmers' local knowledge
Jenny Brunton, senior European policy adviser at the British Agriculture Bureau had the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Farmers constituency. She asked government representatives in the room (which included the UK) to take the diversity of farming systems into account and to recognise the local knowledge that farmers have in designing and implementing solutions.
Research, innovation, adaptation, and mitigation measures should reflect local and national circumstances, be easily accessible to farmers, pragmatic, and scalable to ensure fast and effective adoption.
You can read more on NFU Cymru President Aled Jones' reflections on his attendance at COP27 at: Farmers from around the world unite with one voice