In 2016 the Paris Climate Change agreement was officially ratified. The agreement that sets out a global action plan, to put the world on track, to avoid dangerous climate change, by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.
Later in the year, during the COP22 in Marrakesh, nearly 200 countries backed the implementation of the Paris agreement, labelling it is an “urgent duty” and pledging to mobilise at least US$100 billion (€94.15) per year. The tough work starts now as parties must implement the agreement, which has been made more uncertain after the 2016 US presidential elections.
The ELO has been an active participant in this process, starting with the publication of the paper entitled “Climate Change and the rural economy: managing land in the face of climate change” before the meeting in Paris, where the ELO participated.
The agreement puts more pressure on governments to act and led the EU Commission to publish a set of proposals for the transition to a low-carbon economy, including in the buildings, agriculture, waste, land-use and forestry sectors. This is part of the EU’s efforts to reduce its GHG emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, which now, for the first time, includes the greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use and forestry. It sets out accounting rules and allows for certain flexibilities.
The ELO has been discussing this issue internally and with other stakeholders and will continue to do so in 2017 when the legislative proposal is to be discussed in the European Parliament. The ENVI Committee will take the lead, having appointed Norbert LINSMEP as rapporteur. The vote in the ENVI Committee is expected in June 2017.
The agreement brought great momentum to raise the profile of landowners who are investing in a climate-proof agriculture and who are already managing their land for both adaption and mitigation of climate change. Their efforts have already resulted in the reduction of GHG emissions while keeping productivity levels. However only with renewed efforts is this trend likely to continue.