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The Paris Agreement: the view from Farm Africa

15 December 2015

The Paris Agreement: the view from Farm Africa

Farm Africa welcomes the signing of the Paris Agreement, which marks a new direction in global attitudes to climate change.

The Paris Agreement, a document signed by 195 world leaders at the culmination of the ‘COP 21’ UN climate change conference on Saturday evening, requires signatories to limit their emissions so that global warming can be contained to an increase of less than 2⁰, with a view to keeping them within 1.5⁰.

The agreement also committed at least $100 billion a year by 2020 in climate finance to developing countries. This fund could help African nations such as the countries where Farm Africa works cope with the effects of extreme weather patterns, and encourage growth that rests on clean, safe forms of energy.

As climate extremes such as the current drought in parts of Ethiopia become more common, the vital importance of this Green Climate Fund is becoming increasingly clear.

The agreement has been widely hailed as historic, and shows the success of collective commitment in the wake of a breakdown of talks at Copenhagen in 2009. We hope it will prove to be a leap forward for sustainable development and the eradication of extreme poverty. 

Farm Africa’s Michelle Winthrop, Director of Programmes, said:

“Many of the smallholder farmers in our focus countries face unprecedented threats to their livelihoods as a result of climate change. Unpredictable weather patterns can wreak havoc on their ability to grow enough, or manage productive livestock, and this directly impacts on household incomes - threatening peoples’ abilities to meet their basic needs. The Paris Agreement is a step forward in acknowledging the severity of the climate risks faced mostly by the world’s poorest people. Farm Africa wholeheartedly welcomes the agreement. We look forward to working with partners in the region to help those farmers cope with and respond to extreme weather events, as well as taking forward our work to reduce carbon emissions, working hand in hand with forest communities.”