Friday, December 17, 2010


Agriculture is receiving increased attention from climatologists because this sector has been found to be contributing substantially to green house gas emission which is responsible for significant warming up of the planet with its attendant adverse consequences to the world at large. Though every one agrees that there is an urgent need to cut down on emission, no unanimity seems to be emerging regarding the modus operandi to achieve the goal. While most of the developed nations do not want to sacrifice the comforts their citizens enjoy because of the liberal use of unsustainable fossil fuels, developing countries aspiring to catch up and achieve decent economic growth cannot be expected to commit to any drastic reduction in CO2 emission without condemning their people to a life of eternal misery. It is unlikely that there will be any agreement on this controversial but critical issue in the foreseeable future because of the wide divergence and perception amongst the countries as of now.

"An 80-nation conference on food security urged U.N. climate negotiators Friday to consider agriculture when drawing up strategies to fight climate change. The five-day meeting ended with a call to invest in new farming practices that will curb greenhouse gas emissions and will better use currently available land to feed a global population of 9 billion by 2050. About 30 percent of carbon emissions come from farming, livestock and forest destruction. Despite its huge share of global emissions, accounting for the use of land is one of the toughest issues under negotiation at U.N. climate talks, and the one which has made the least progress. The talks involve creating incentives for emission reductions by vast agricultural conglomerates and by farmers still using wooden plows on tiny plots. It also touches an industry that is heavily subsidized in many countries. Dutch Agriculture Minister Henk Bleker said funding for "climate smart" agriculture should be integrated into U.N.negotiations. Investment "in agricultural development has been declining in the last 10 years,"Bleker told reporters. "We want to change that." Negotiators reconvene in Cancun, Mexico, later this month, in the most important session since the summit last December in Copenhagen. That convention in Denmark fell short of any legally binding agreement to regulate the pollution blamed for global warming, concluding instead with a statement of principles. But the leaders in Copenhagen agreed to channel $10 billion a year to developing countries through 2012, and to raise $100 billion annually starting in 2020 to help poor countries curb their own emissions and to adapt to changing climate conditions. "Climate change negotiators are frequently not familiar with agriculture," said the World Bank's special envoy on climate change , Andrew Steer. "Nobody expects a global deal at Cancun, but there will surely be one before too long," and agriculture must be part of it, he told the conference earlier this week".

The recently concluded climate summit at Cancun, Mexico also ended up with lot of platitudes and sermons without any conclusions regarding who must do what! The commitment of $ 100 billion for helping the poor countries to achieve carbon reduction is at best a token though no one is clear as to the source of such a fund. It is amusing to hear that the wood fired hearth used by poor families in the third world are generating carbon particles which are responsible for destruction of ice cap and other climate changes! Next would probably the emaciated animals roaming around freely in countries like India generating Methane gas that is more potent than CO2 in global warming!. The moot question is whether the rich nations want the poor countries to remain poor till the end of the world? If so this planet will never be a peaceful place to live with a perpetual cycle of violence and unrest prevalent in many parts of the world..


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