In global climate talks, farming is critical, because poorly-managed farms emit methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen — three key greenhouse gasses — while well-run farms absorb them. We should, therefore, be able to slash greenhouse gasses dramatically by shifting to climate-safe agriculture — which can actually increase farmers’ yields, as we’ve seen in earlier episodes of Bionic Planet and will see again.
So, climate-safe agriculture can be good for farmers, but small-scale farmers in developing countries have always worried about the way mandates could play out in these talks.
Basically, they’re afraid that any agreement to impose restrictions on greenhouse gasses from agriculture would hit them hardest.
But then the Paris Agreement came along, and they all realized that almost every country on the planet wanted to slash its emissions by fixing its farms. What they didn’t have was agreement on how to do that.
This week in Bonn, they achieved agreement on how to reach that agreement — which might not sound like much, but try getting 200 countries to agree on anything.
Today we speak with Tonya Rawe, who runs the Food and Nutrition Security program at CARE International.CARE is a humanitarian aid organization formed in the wake of World War II, but it’s become a key player in the environmental space as well, especially when subsistence farmers are involved.