We are in a climate crisis. Farmers often bear the brunt of climate change with their crops and livelihoods at risk.
Together, we campaign for organic to be included in policies tackling climate change e.g. as an active member of the farmers constituency within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Done right, agriculture such as agroecology and organic can be a transition pathway to the solutions needed for climate-friendly, sustainable food systems.
In the 2019 Special Report on Climate Change and Land, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns of the massive impacts the climate crisis will have on agriculture and forestry. At the same time, the report makes clear that arable farming, livestock farming and forestry are major contributors to global warming and calls for these sectors to finally assume responsibility and initiate changes to stem climate change.
Unsustainable agriculture is contributing to the crisis as the artificial fertilizers used to grow food are responsible for the majority of nitrous oxide released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity. Nitrous oxide has almost 300 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide and is responsible for about six percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions globally.
We believe that limiting global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) is still achievable through deep fossil fuel emission cuts and the transformation of our food system based on organic principles and agroecology. Given its potential for reducing carbon emissions, enhancing soil fertility and improving climate resilience, organic agriculture should form the basis of comprehensive policy tools for addressing the future of global nutrition and addressing climate change.
Organic agriculture can help with climate change by:
- Reducing greenhouse gases, especially nitrous oxide, as no chemical nitrogen fertilizers are used and nutrient losses are minimized.
- Putting carbon back into soils by keeping them covered with plants, increasing crop diversity, composting and carefully planned grazing.
- Minimizes energy consumption by 30-70% per unit of land by eliminating the energy required to manufacture synthetic fertilizers, and by using internal farm inputs.