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Cairns Group Farm Leaders Statement on the need for cohesive inclusive and coherent global policies to meet the challenges of climate change

11 November 2022

Members of the Cairns Group Farm Leaders represented by, Sociedad Rural Argentina, Australian National Farmers' Federation, National Agriculture Confederation Brazil, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Sociedad Nacional de Agricultura Chile, Camara del Agro Guatemala, Federated Farmers of New Zealand, Agri SA (South Africa), AgBiz (South Africa).

Acknowledging the need for urgent action to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the unique potential for the agricultural sector to meet global ambitions on addressing climate change and the special vulnerability of the sector to the effects of climate change, and

Recognising the need for greater global food security and production in the context of geopolitical tensions, a growing world population and the impacts of climate change

Call on the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to:

Recognise the role of international agricultural trade, innovation, and technology in achieving climate and food security ambitions through building value chains that lead to more efficient use of resources globally

Recognise that the task of further improving the sustainability of agri-food systems globally must be economically viable and a shared responsibility within the value chain.

Recognise in this context the need to reinvigorate World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on agriculture. The role of international agricultural trade in achieving climate and food security goals can be maximised by WTO members by

- ensuring production-distorting subsidies and non-tariff barriers to trade which cannot be justified by reference to evidence-based exceptions recognised by the WTO, do not impede the trade of agricultural goods;

- building greater confidence in the effectiveness of the rules governing domestic support in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture;

- promoting the use of multilateral forums to build consensus on the appropriateness of prescriptive environment/climate related trade measures which have implications for the processes and production methods (PPM)s of third countries, to build confidence that such measures are not disguised barriers.

Recognise the key role played by farmers in ensuring sustainable land management, the implementation of nature-based solutions to address climate change, and the further improvement of the sustainability of food systems and in this context acknowledge that policy responses in agriculture are most likely to succeed if they are built upon the concept of farmers as primary agents of change.

Ensure due consideration of the need to ensure food security, accessibility, production, and the livelihoods of farmers in developing policy responses to climate change, noting the need for global action on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of ending hunger and poverty.

Acknowledge that the sustainability and resilience of agri-food systems are multi-dimensional concepts with multiple solution pathways; that the approach chosen by countries will necessarily be determined by the unique geographic, environmental, cultural, and socio-economic contexts in which they operate, and that the further improvement of the sustainability and resilience of agri-food systems must therefore be principles-based

Promote the use of multilateral forums to further accelerate the transition to resilient food systems and to further improve the sustainability of agri-food systems and ensure adequate consultation and participation of countries and groups affected

Recognise the need to evolve in the climate finance agenda through the proposal for the GCF – Green Climate Fund, which was never effectively operationalized. The Adaptation Fund and other official UNFCCC mechanisms should encourage the adoption of actions that are part of the parties' NDC. The discussions on funding at COP26 in Glasgow showed that the target of US$ 100 billion per year from 2020 is far from being achieved, undermining the Paris Agreement's implementation.

Recognise the need to promote the operationalization of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, especially items 6.2 and 6.4, for regulation of the carbon credit market.

Recognise it is essential to have a decision approved formalizing the creation of the Koronivia Committee, aimed to debate how agriculture and livestock interact with innovation and adoption of technologies, the productivity increase, and adaptation practices promoting the resilience of food production systems. The recognition that agriculture is part of the solution to combating global climate change shows the importance of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture.

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Previous Media Releas:
3/6/2022 Cairns Group Farm Leaders call for urgent action on WTO ag trade reform