UNFCCC Climate Change Talks

IFOAM at the UNFCCC Climate Change Talks in Bonn August 2 – 6, 2010





Current status of agriculture in the negotiations

Two alternative texts specifically relating to agriculture within the climate change framework on the United Nations have been developed. The UNFCCC version was developed at Copenhagen and is awaiting potential sign-off by parties in Mexico in December 2010. The second version was submitted by Bolivia for consideration by the UNFCCC and has been largely ignored (elements have not been integrated into the UNFCCC negotiating text). The Bolivian text was an outcome of the World’s People Movement on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth organized by the Bolivian government in response to the failure of Copenhagen. The Bolivian text is broadly in keeping with the Principles of Organic Agriculture.The current UNFCCC agriculture text is likely to be adopted at Mexico unchallenged with most countries not wanting to risk failing to achieve an overarching agreement on climate change due to what is sure to be huge differences on agriculture. 

Download the UNFCCC agriculture text under sectorial approaches here


Download the agriculture text submitted to the UNFCCC by Bolivia text under sectorial approaches here. (video)

IFOAM’s current role in the negotiations

Although agriculture is not currently being specifically discussed at the climate talks the architecture required for a global climate agreement to be implemented is. These general rules and policies will have a big impact on what type of agriculture is promoted and how it is incentivized once agricultural negotiations resume.  IFOAM produced a briefing paper ahead of the conference outlining its concerns regarding the potential impact of the policy architecture being discussed on smallholders, food security and hunger.  

Download the IFOAM Briefing Paper here

IFOAM brought these issues to delegates at the conference via a side event People Before Commodities. An IFOAM exhibition booth throughout the conference enabled IFOAM to discuss the organic alternative with delegates from up to 193 countries. 

Janice Jiggins, one of the chief authors of the IAASTD report headlined the side event. Juan Hoffmaister of the Bolivian delegation raised concerns regarding the potential imposition of farming technologies and systems on developing countries. Mithika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance outlined his concerns. Robert Jordan, IFOAM’s Advocacy Manager opened the event showcasing organic agriculture’s climate credentials and also making clear IFOAM’s concerns.  IFOAM’s Executive Director, Markus Arbenz closed the event by re-enforcing the organic movement’s commitment to addressing climate change, poverty and food insecurity.

Download the speakers’ presentations:

Janice Jiggins here

Mithika Mwenda here

Robert Jordan here

This video  provides a few highlights from the event. 

Insights into the progress made at the climate talks in Bonn

These talks revealed the extent to which emission reduction and finance pledges made by developed countries under the Copenhagen Accord are gravely inadequate.  Furthermore the intentions of the North are becoming increasingly clear in that they:

• wish to forget all historical responsibility for causing climate change 

• want to avoid making emission reductions in their own national economies 

• do not want the Kyoto Protocol which commits developed countries to legally binding emission reductions to continue after the end of the first commitment period in 2012

• pass the burden of mitigating global warming onto developing countries by demanding they develop along low carbon pathways

For a good media review of what happened in Bonn, click here.