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IFPRI Urges Including Agriculture in Climate Change Negotiations

28 May 2009: In its latest edition of IFPRI Forum, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) urges including agriculture in the negotiations for a new international agreement on climate change in Copenhagen.

It highlights that growing scientific evidence shows that agriculture will be severely impacted by climate change while it could play a significant role in climate change mitigation.

In his commentary, Gerald Nelson, senior research fellow at IFPRI's Environment and Production Technology Division, explains that agriculture has been largely overlooked because the effects of climate change on agriculture seemed manageable and its potential role as a source of greenhouse gases was not yet fully understood. He indicates that recent research, however, has demonstrated that impacts on agriculture may be larger than previously thought as yields decline because of increased climatic stresses, water scarcity and vulnerability to pests. At the same time, enough is known about links between agriculture and climate change to take advantage of the role agriculture can play in mitigation, for instance through carbon sequestration on degraded lands. Nelson therefore calls for increasing funding for research on climate change impacts on agriculture, creating a fund for agriculture adaptation, and including agriculture-related mitigation investments in any global mitigation funding mechanism. [The Commentary]