Global Agriculture

Cop: Brazil sees agriculture finance as sticking point

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Final negotiations for agreeing to global emissions-reductions goals at the Cop 28 UN climate conference should focus more on the funds that developing countries need to adapt their agricultural systems, Brazil’s environment minister Marina Silva said today.

12 December 2023, Brazil“Hard work is needed on the adaptation text as it relates to the food system,” Silva said today at the climate summit in Dubai. Adaptation refers to adjustments to avoid global warming impacts, and greater support for it, in combination with mitigation efforts, is necessary to try and further address loss and damage, delegates said.

Loss and damage refers to the unavoidable and irreversible effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels, flooding or droughts.

“Many of the damages and losses we are suffering are related to the food system,” she said.

Brazil has faced climate change-related losses of $157bn in agriculture in the past 10 years, Silva said, with $17bn of that last year alone.

“We are a great agricultural country but we are also vulnerable,” Silva said.

Brazil and other developing countries have called for more international commitments for non-loan based spending from developed countries on climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as loss and damage. There was early progress on language related to loss and damage, but talks on adaptation has emerged as a potential sticking point.

Negotiators today released a draft text on adaptation-related language in the agreement under debate at Cop 28, which would update the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. It encourages parties and stakeholder to increase action for “attaining climate-resilient food and agricultural production.”

Language in the Cop 27 agreement was slightly more limited, referring to recognizing “the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change.”

Although broad, the agreement shapes global and country-level policies, including potentially policies related to fertilizers.

Brazil’s national fertilizer plan aims to reduce the share it sources from imports but increase domestic production and exports. Climate impact could affect agricultural demand for fertilizer, and Silva noted that some areas in Brazil covering a population of about 13mn are technically becoming deserts.

During Cop 28, parties joined an UAE-led declaration on sustainable agriculture, resilient food systems and climate action, with 152 countries covering 73pc of food production signing on. They committed $17bn to spending in the area this year, up from $8bn at Cop 27.

Funds going to agricultural adaptation are still “way too little,” UAE climate minister Mariam Almheiri said. But she thinks this Cop is a turning point. You will see “huge impacts with money flowing into these areas,” she said.

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