Where Do We Grow From Here?

The historical first workshop on the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) took place on the second day of COP24. The discussion focused on the modalities for implementing the outcomes of the five in-session workshops on issues related to agriculture and other future topics that may arise from this work. There was more than what met the eye happening. The workshop revealed across-the-board concerns the parties had going forward.

kjwa24The decision, 4/CP.23, requests the SBSTA/SBI to jointly address issues related to agriculture, working with constituted bodies (CBs) under the Convention. Representatives of the CBs presented information on the following questions:

  1. What is the general mandate of the constituted body?
  2. How has the work of the constituted body contributed to Parties’ implementation of work on agriculture?
  3. How can the work of the constituted body help Parties to advance their work on agriculture?

The Adaptation Committee (AC) seeks to advance Parties’ work in agriculture by incorporating an agriculture lens into an upcoming technical paper on linkages between mitigation and adaptation. Additionally, the AC provides guidance to the Nairobi Work Programme on potential agriculture-related activities. Kenya proposed the questions “how do we see using Nairobi Work Programme to help agriculture or what can we do differently? Make it useful? To receive knowledge?” Kenya continuing, “what can we do as parties and the KJWA that can advance agriculture? How do we implement the outcomes of the five workshops? How can we help you?”

The Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) are working on supplemental guidelines based on water, gender, agriculture, etc. Their percentage distribution of NAPA projects = 21% agriculture and food security. The European Union (EU) asked the question “how do you see the contents of 5 workshops useful to your work?” Uganda, looking at the key elements identified by the workshops, sought answers to “how can we increase the access of knowledge for farmers from the five workshops?” “How can we improve connectivity?”

The Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) has improved the coherence and coordination of climate change finance delivery. In SCF forums, agriculture has been addressed as well as forestry. “From the presentation, looking at the investment, how do you see the committee engaged in KJWA?” Kenya asked. Further, Uruguay inquired, “the reduction of emissions should be considered in agriculture, so how can we ensure that emission reduction is not an obstacle for implementation?”

The Climate Technology Centre and Network Advisory Board (CTCN) discussed how the CTCN can support a country’s agricultural systems by enhancing agricultural and rural development. CTCN can identify appropriate technology-neutral approaches that make agriculture more resilient. In response, Kenya explains “you are aware of the five topics and the last two require technology development and transfer under Koronivia. Has the CTCN considered the outcomes and topics under KJWA? What can parties do? How do we send a message to you to incorporate the topics discussed here?”

Climate-AgricultureConcerns going forward are apparent and have only minorly been addressed. The only known going forward is the procedure.  The Koronivia workshop will be meeting again on Wednesday.



Good News

Friday, November 22’s issue of the Climate Action Network’s publication ECO described the full operationalization of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (“CTCN”) as “the good news story of COP19.” ECOIndeed, a global network of experts committed to collaborating with developing nations to implement imperative climate technologies upon request is a significant success in globally addressing climate change. Nevertheless, ECO makes suggestions for improvements to the policies behind the Technology Mechanism.

The Technology Executive Committee (“TEC”) is the policy arm behind the CTCN’s technology implementation. ECO suggests the TEC should develop a Global Technology Action Plan. This would offer optimized plans for technology choices, and allow countries to choose certain paths for mitigation from a pre-designated selection. This may be unlikely to happen, as CTCN is focused on achieving the technology goals of nations based on the plans of national governments. Presenting preconceived options seems to deviate from this principle.

ECO also recommends defining the term “environmentally sound technologies,” which is instrumental in the CTCN’s founding language from Cancun (1/CP.16, para 123). This could deter the development of dangerous and radical climate technologies. Regardless of any radical technologies that might emerge, it is important to define the “environmentally sound” term that is central to the purpose of the CTCN.

ECO also discusses funding. A multitude of things will fund the CTCN, including the UNFCCC, but it will likely rely heavily on public and private contributions. So far, countries have pledged $22 million dollars. However, ECO states that these are one-time pledges, and that CTCN needs reliable, long-term funding to be successful. The CTCN is a critical resource for developing nations, so finding consistent funding will be important for global climate technology in the future.

The operationalization of CTCN is an important success from COP19. Many claim that the UNFCCC system is incapable of finding new international solutions to climate change. The CTCN shows that the UNFCCC is capable of producing global mechanisms that advance Party nations’ goals to mitigate and adapt. peaceCOP19 has produced an invaluable resource for countries in need of new climate technologies. Hopefully, this may restore some confidence in the UNFCCC’s effectiveness.