Considering Food Systems in Nationally Determined Contributions

Climate Focus, on behalf of WWF, is developing guidance for governments on how to enhance food systems and leverage their associated mitigation and adaptation opportunities in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement.

References to agriculture and food are vague in NDCs, focusing on mainly references to accounting and resilience. The first round of NDCs miss important opportunities for the transformation of food systems related to sustainable production, food loss and waste, and sustainable diets/consumption and production. The 2020 deadline to revise or re-submit country NDCs provides an opportunity for countries to consider a more integrated and comprehensive coverage of food systems, including production, processing, transport, storage, retail, consumption and waste, in their NDCs.

This project follows a step-wise approach:

  1. Review existing literature and publications on emissions and mitigation potentials in food systems. We present country-specific figures for high-risk or opportunity regions and reflect on the need to consider food systems holistically while identifying activities that are specific to different country circumstances.
  2. Extract information on food system mitigation options from current NDCs. We build on reviews of existing NDCs and summarize whether and how they consider food systems.
  3. Synthesize review findings in a table providing context-specific guidance. The table presents the main mitigation and adaptation opportunities with concrete recommendations on transformative activities to guide policymakers in developing appropriate food and agricultural targets.
  4. Provide example targets and indicators for policymakers. We also consider how to maximize the multiple benefits of adopting more ambitious NDC targets (e.g. leveraging SDG benefits and economic opportunities). The options are also linked back to adaptation needs and highlight win/win opportunities.