About Climate Change and Rural Development [ID: 221]

Climate Change and Rural Development

The negative impact of climate change on agriculture and rural development is well documented and its severity well accepted. The importance of agriculture for climate protection and achieving the goal of halting global warming at 1.5°C is increasingly recognised. Agriculture contributes to the rise of the global greenhouse gas emissions. However, the agricultural sector is also strongly affected by the climate change.

Countries have shared their intention and willingness to link agriculture to climate change. 80% of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) name agriculture as one major vehicle to counterbalance increasingly stressful climate conditions, which FAO has analysed and provided a summary. Furthermore, National Adaptation Plans (NAPS) offer many opportunities for countries to redirect agriculture and rural development towards sustainability given the past and future impacts of climate change.

The agreement achieved at COP 23 is the first substantive outcome and COP decision in the history of the UNFCCC processes on agriculture. It established the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) to develop and implement new strategies for adaptation and mitigation within the agriculture sector, that will help reduce emissions from the sector as well as build its resilience to the effects of climate change. The KJWA role was clarified at COP 24 as a collaboration between the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation. They will focus on addressing approaches to food security, the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change, and how to mitigate agriculture’s contribution to climate change.

Overall, many international and regional development and finance institutions have established important portfolios for climate relevant interventions. The Global Donor Platform facilitates the donor and IFI response to the climate challenge in agriculture and rural development. Many strategic and programmatic issues still need to be clarified and approaches agreed upon with regard to ARD and bilateral finance availability, the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility, the Climate Finance Facility, the Green Climate Fund, and private sector investments. IFAD is currently mainstreaming climate resilience components into their regular lending portfolio, while grant provisions through IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme will continue.

Why is climate change important to donors?

Climate resilient agriculture is part of the core strategy of donor members’ actions towards halting global warming. Donors work towards promoting agriculture that is both environmentally and economically sustainable for the world’s farmers. By utilizing a variety of funding mechanisms and complementary programmes, donors are helping farmers mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, while helping them to reduce poverty, enhance biodiversity, increase yields, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This transformative approach towards climate resilient agriculture is in line with the Platform’s purpose: “Members work together to influence ideas and resources for sustainable agriculture and food systems transformation”.

Donors engage with partners to implement major climate initiatives, programmes, and research in order to make progress on the implementation of climate targets at the international level, including the NDC Partnership, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA).

About Climate Change and Rural Development [ID: 223]

Climate Finance

While matching finance for climate is principally available, it not necessarily available for ARD or for the capacity building of countries. The status of information on opportunities is insufficient to use the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness Finance for preparing bankable projects and programmes which induce transformational change as called for by the GCF. Since transformational change requires programmes with the participation of NGOs and the private sector, as well as inter-ministerial cooperation, the programmes proposed can be quite complex. In this regard, focused donors’ support could catalyse the needed change on the ground. This objective is geared towards possible operations of donors in support to developing countries, but also strives for political support for ARD in climate finance in decision-making bodies, such as the GCF board.

Climate smart agriculture (CSA) is frequently discussed in a technical manner as a means to adapting to long-term stresses caused by climate risks. However, the necessary investments to catalyse CSA interventions on the ground are insufficient to date and new and innovative financial sources are not yet fully known or tapped. Knowledge exchange and joint actions of public and private actors are the answer to current shortcomings in finding financial solutions.