629. Gaps in International Cooperation Could Delay Net Zero by Decades
The International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions have released Breakthrough Agenda Report 2022, highlighting the importance of strengthening international cooperation to drive faster reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions.
This is the first report on the Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda, which was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 (UNFCCC) in November 2021. At COP26 led by the United Kingdom, 45 countries and regions including Japan, committed to make clean technologies and sustainable practices more affordable, accessible, and attractive options in five priority sectors—power, road transport, steel, hydrogen and agriculture. It aims to align and coordinate investments to expand deployment and lower costs, and states that if there is no international cooperation, the transition to net zero (net global greenhouse gas emissions) could be delayed for decades.
The Agenda also reported the following on the agricultural sector.
Improving access to finance for smallholder farmers in developing countries to increase agricultural productivity and resilience while reducing GHG emissions is an immediate priority for international cooperation. Current agricultural practices not only deplete natural resources, but also account for more than one-fifth of global emissions. There is a need for increased global investment in research, development, and demonstration of technologies and practices for resilient and sustainable agriculture. Accelerating the shift away from conventional agriculture requires the establishment of a long-term process for sharing knowledge to shift agricultural policies in a sustainable direction. Countries should also begin focused discussions on how international trade can facilitate the transition to sustainable agriculture.
We also recommend the following actions as priorities for strengthening international cooperation over the next two years.
1. Governments and businesses need to work together to achieve higher levels of investment in agricultural research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) and to increase the scale and diversity of joint international RD&D initiatives and programs, such as reducing food waste, limiting emissions from livestock and fertilizer, improving alternative proteins, development of climate resilient crops and livestock, and prioritizing innovations that protect soil and water resources.
2. In response to the importance of agriculture to global GHG emissions, adaptation and resilience, and food security, the level of international finance directed to agriculture should be significantly increased, and governments, development banks, and private investors should work together to ensure that small businesses and smallholder farmers in developing countries have access to much larger amounts of capital.
3. Governments, research institutions, international organizations, and the private sector need to commit to a long-term process to test, build evidence, and share knowledge on approaches to redirect agricultural policies and support to sustainability and climate change responses.
4. Governments should initiate a strategic dialogue on how international trade can facilitate and not hinder the transition to sustainable agriculture.
5. National governments and international organizations need to develop internationally agreed upon standards for monitoring and reporting on the state of natural resources on which agriculture depends, such as soil carbon content and soil health, and on the geographic extent of agriculture.
Breakthrough Agenda Report 2022
-Accelerating Sector Transitions through Stronger International Collaboration-
Contributor: KANAMORI Norihito (Information and Public Relations Office)