“Agriculture and agricultural soils in the face of climate change and food security challenges: public policies and practices”. It will be an important milestone for the French ministry of agriculture in the preparation for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). As a reminder, the COP 21 will be held in Paris in December 2015 with the objective to achieve, for the first time, a universal and binding agreement to efficiently combat climate change and stimulate and accelerate the transition towards resilient and low-carbon societies and economies.
The September conference will focus on policies and practices for the challenges associated with climate change and food security. Within a broader focus on policy solutions, the conference will also provide specific highlights on soil-related aspects.
On this occasion, France will specifically explain its “4‰” Initiative which refers to the fact that an annual 4‰ increase in carbon sequestration in soil would compensate for annual C02 anthropogenic emissions, or 75% of greenhouse emissions. By promoting better carbon management in agricultural practices, the project consists of increasing carbon sequestration in soils with the dual aim of preventing soil degradation and mitigating climate change. This OECD-France conference will enable this approach to be complemented by OECD expertise on policy and economic analysis. It will aim to lay the foundation for the international effort which is needed on public policy options and economic incentives to support food security, the fight against climate change, and adaptation to climate change, while integrating soil issues in that effort.
The United States will participate in the debate specifically through the intervention of two US speakers:
- M. David Brandt is a farmer (Ohio) whose soil management practices greatly impressed our the French minister of agriculture, M. Stéphane Le Foll, during his official visit in the United States last June.
- M. William Hohenstein, Director of the Climate Change Program Office at the USDA will also be present and will intervene on the issue “What agricultural practices and policies to efficiently respond to the triple challenge, and what role for soils in this context?”
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