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Overview

To address the challenges of climate change, agricultural production systems need to be transformed to achieve greater productivity, be more resource efficient, and become more resilient to risks, shocks and long-term climate variability. According to the IPCC AR5 report, the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector contributes about 25% of human-generated GHG emissions, mainly from deforestation and agricultural emissions from livestock, soil and nutrient management. Moving to sustainable agricultural practices will play a key role in limiting global warming to no more than 2˚C. Climate-smart Agriculture (CSA) is an approach that the WBCSD and its member companies have identified as critical to reach the 2 degree Celsius target.

The Climate Smart Agriculture working group gathers leading companies from the food and agricultural supply chain who are committed to develop a roadmap, implementation plan and policy recommendations to address food security and climate challenges related to agricultural production.

Action Agenda

Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is a relatively new approach to developing the technical, political and financial conditions for the achievement of sustainable development goals. It helps address food security and climate challenges through three pillars:

  • Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes
  • Adapting and building resilience to climate change
  • Reducing and/or eliminating GHG emissions

CSA is a harmonized way of addressing the multiple challenges faced by agricultural systems. Often based on existing practices, policies and institutions, it focuses on achieving the desired outcomes without being prescriptive about practices or technologies. CSA involves making site-specific assessments to identify the best agricultural production technologies and practices for the situation.

The below four priority action areas have been defined to progress towards our ambition of  making 50% more food available and strengthening the climate resilience of farming communities while reducing agricultural and land-use change emissions from commercial agriculture by at least 3.7 Gt CO2 eq/yr by 2030 (50%).

Background

By 2050, we will need to feed more people with less available water and land per capita in the context of a changing climate, a growing energy demand and declining ecosystems. These issues must be addressed if the objective of reducing food insecurity while increasing agricultural sustainability is to be met.

 Business has recognized a clear need to develop new solutions to deal with the interconnectedness of water, food, feed, fiber and energy. Through the Action2020 Platform for Action, WBCSD and its member companies have identified a set of societal “Must-Haves” or goals that business and other stakeholders can and need to collectively achieve by 2020, in order to reach WBCSD’s Vision 2050, i.e. a world in which 9 billion+ people live well and within the limits of the planet.

The societal Must-Haves identified for the “Food, Feed, Fiber and Biofuel” and “Release of Nutrient Elements” Priority Areas are detailed below.

“Food, Feed, Fiber and Biofuel” Societal Must-Have

By 2020, sustainably increase the production and resource efficiency of agriculture systems to secure access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food and sustainable bio-based products.

  • Halve food loss and waste (Baseline:2009)
  • Double, sustainably, agricultural yields in smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (Baseline: 2005)
  • Raise farmers’ net incomes, and improve rural livelihoods within agriculture landscape

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“Release of Nutrient Elements” Societal Must-Have

In watersheds experiencing eutrophication or hypoxia, pollution from excess nutrients must, by 2020, be brought to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity, including marine and soil ecosystems, while avoiding adverse effects through air pollution on human health and climate change.

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Publications
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Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard
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Efficient Agriculture, Stronger Economies in ASEAN – Private Sector Perspectives for Policy Makers
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Agri-business Leaders get climate smart at COP21 and aim to make 50% more food available and reduce agricultural emissions by 50% by 2030
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Agricultural Ecosystems: Facts and trends
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Contact
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Deepa Maggo
Associate, Climate Smart Agriculture
WBCSD | New Delhi Office
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Matthew Reddy
Director, Climate Smart Agriculture
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Dalma Somogyi
Associate, Climate Smart Agriculture
WBCSD | Geneva Office
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