The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Glasgow (United Kingdom), ended on 13 November with little progress with respect to the commitments already established in previous conferences, including a decision that calls for a reduction in the use of coal and an end to fossil fuel subsidies, although without specifying much more. In addition, the text adopted by the 196 countries that are part of the Convention keeps alive the commitment to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The final decision includes the objective to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% by 2030 (compared to 2010) and the urgency of accelerating climate ambition in this decade, as expressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It should be noted that the European Union's commitments on this issue are more ambitious through the Fit to 55 Programme, which aims to reduce emissions by 55%, and through the Green Pact, which aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
One piece of good news at this summit was the bilateral agreement reached between the United States and China, the two main GHG emitting countries, in which they agree to work to accelerate the fight against climate change during this decade. Among the highlights of the pact reached by the two powers is the commitment of the Asian country to present a comprehensive plan over the next year to reduce its methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas responsible for around 25% of current warming.
As far as agriculture is concerned, little has been said at COP26, with just one initiative by 45 governments to provide the Climate Fund with an additional 3.5 billion euros to promote more environmentally friendly agriculture. In parallel, only a few specific initiatives from governments such as Brazil, Germany and the United Kingdom. This money will go towards promoting agricultural innovations to develop new "climate-resilient" crop varieties and "regeneration solutions" to improve soil quality. The British Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, whose government is behind the proposal, said: "To maintain the 1.5°C target we need action from the whole of society, including an urgent transformation of the way we manage ecosystems, produce and consume food on a global scale. He emphasised that it will be "to reduce emissions and protect nature" while safeguarding "food and jobs".
It is therefore a declaration of intent towards the search for sustainable production systems, not only in the environmental sphere, but also in the economic and social spheres in which Conservation Agriculture, due to its proven benefits in terms of mitigating and adapting to climate change and its capacity to reduce costs while maintaining production, should play a crucial role.