climate smart agriculture

A number of big agribusiness companies have joined forces with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Bank to promote Climate Smart Agriculture. The main vehicle for this has been the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) which was launched in September 2014. Companies promoting themselves as supporters of climate smart agriculture include Walmart, Monsanto and Yara.

There are very few significant social or environmental preconditions for joining GACSA or calling a particular agricultural practice climate smart. And despite the publicity around climate smart agriculture, the concept itself is not clearly defined. It is essentially nothing more than a convenient buzz phrase that has been used as a way for huge multinationals to rebrand their methods as climate smart, regardless of whether they really reduce emissions at all. This lack of definition has allowed Yara, which is among the world’s biggest producers of nitrogen-based fertilisers (the worst type for climate impact) to join GACSA and promote itself as a practitioner of Climate Smart Agriculture. All of this has meant that the vast majority of civil society groups active on climate change are deeply sceptical of Climate Smart Agriculture, and support proven alternatives such as agroecology and food sovereignty.

The agribiz Borg tried to assimilate me at the COP 21 climate talks

Have you seen Star Trek: First Contact? It’s the one where everyone’s favourite space-faring bald badass Jean-Luc Picard is fighting against the cybernetic Borg, who invade the Enterprise, and begin to assimilate its crew and modify the ship, planning to use it to attack and conquer Earth.

Resource thumbail

Silent but Deadly - Estimating the real climate impact of agribusiness corporations

December 2015

The agribusiness industry presents itself as part of the solution to climate change. The major firms spend significant sums to promote the message that corporate, industrial agriculture is compatible with fighting climate change. But they are wrong. This report demonstrates that multinational agribusiness companies are part of the problem, not the solution, by revealing the true extent of their overall contribution to dangerous climate change. So far, most agribusiness companies have got away with underestimating their true impact because they only declare their direct emissions. Many emissions are not direct, but arise from the end use of their products or from their supply chains.

Things I have learnt since being at the Paris climate talks


03 December 2015

It’s big, it’s dizzying and it’s inside an enormous aircraft hangar. Everyone seems to run around in a constant frenzy, people are dressed up as polar bears and penguins and handing out bars of carbon-neutral chocolate and big fancy industry booths from many different sectors are loudly proclaiming themselves to be THE solution to the world’s problems.

Not saving the world at COP 21

Over the last few months, attempts have been made to present COP 21, the ‘landmark’ Paris climate summit to be held in December as an opportunity to ‘save the world’. The people behind these appeals appear to believe that if only we had a big enough petition or an impressive enough march, the political elite might be persuaded to use the Paris COP to take serious action on climate change.

A clarion call from Mali - agroecology, not agribusiness!


04 March 2015

The International Agroecology Forum, which took place at the Nyéléni Centre in Mali last week, brought together a huge array of delegates ranging from peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, NGOs and academics to discuss how agroecology can help build an ecologically and socially just food system.

Climate-smart corporate farming. What’s not to like?


23 September 2014

Today, governments and businesses will gather in New York to launch a new climate initiative; The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA). But look a little deeper into GACSA’s strategy and who’s signed up to it, and things look a little less smart.

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The agribiz Borg tried to assimilate me at the COP 21 climate talks

Have you seen Star Trek: First Contact? It’s the one where everyone’s favourite space-faring bald badass Jean-Luc Picard is fighting against the cybernetic Borg, who invade the Enterprise, and begin to assimilate its crew and modify the ship, planning to use it to attack and conquer Earth.

Things I have learnt since being at the Paris climate talks


03 December 2015

It’s big, it’s dizzying and it’s inside an enormous aircraft hangar. Everyone seems to run around in a constant frenzy, people are dressed up as polar bears and penguins and handing out bars of carbon-neutral chocolate and big fancy industry booths from many different sectors are loudly proclaiming themselves to be THE solution to the world’s problems.

Not saving the world at COP 21

Over the last few months, attempts have been made to present COP 21, the ‘landmark’ Paris climate summit to be held in December as an opportunity to ‘save the world’. The people behind these appeals appear to believe that if only we had a big enough petition or an impressive enough march, the political elite might be persuaded to use the Paris COP to take serious action on climate change.

A clarion call from Mali - agroecology, not agribusiness!


04 March 2015

The International Agroecology Forum, which took place at the Nyéléni Centre in Mali last week, brought together a huge array of delegates ranging from peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, NGOs and academics to discuss how agroecology can help build an ecologically and socially just food system.

Climate-smart corporate farming. What’s not to like?


23 September 2014

Today, governments and businesses will gather in New York to launch a new climate initiative; The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA). But look a little deeper into GACSA’s strategy and who’s signed up to it, and things look a little less smart.

Resources

Resource thumbail

Silent but Deadly - Estimating the real climate impact of agribusiness corporations

December 2015

The agribusiness industry presents itself as part of the solution to climate change. The major firms spend significant sums to promote the message that corporate, industrial agriculture is compatible with fighting climate change. But they are wrong. This report demonstrates that multinational agribusiness companies are part of the problem, not the solution, by revealing the true extent of their overall contribution to dangerous climate change. So far, most agribusiness companies have got away with underestimating their true impact because they only declare their direct emissions. Many emissions are not direct, but arise from the end use of their products or from their supply chains.

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