Tackling Climate Change

Farmers increasingly face the need to produce more nutritious food from fewer resources, and under less predictable growing conditions. Agricultural innovation and plant science technologies deliver climate-smart solutions while improving productivity and food security. CropLife International, our global network of associations, and our members are committed to ensuring that food systems and farmers remain resilient and productive in the face of climate change.

Adapting to & Mitigating Climate Change

CropLife International focuses on advancing knowledge and awareness of agricultural innovation and its increasingly important role in improving agricultural productivity to contribute to all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that directly depend on agriculture.

Farmers need access to tools that enable them to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report, recognizes the critical role of innovation in addressing the challenges facing the agricultural sector.

The report calls for more climate-resilient crops and livestock, for improvements in water management, as well as an increase in crop and livelihood diversification.

Our members engage in world-leading research and development centered on technologies that support climate-smart sustainable agriculture including specific commitments to increase R&D investment toward climate-smart innovations, reducing emissions per unit crop yield, and reducing their carbon footprints.

Innovations in seed technology, like herbicide tolerance and improved weed control, have already resulted in over 300 million tonnes of CO2 sequestration over the past 25 years. That’s the equivalent of the annual emissions of the state of California.

And with the exciting development of genome editing, plant breeders have the potential to develop seed varieties that can increase the efficiency of carbon capture, provide resistance to pests and pathogens, and even accelerate the domestication of new crop species.

We must equip farmers, large and small, with the knowledge and tools they need to build the foundations of truly sustainable food systems.

Farmers need access to more tools to support a robust and flexible response to a changing climate that affects both their own farms and the broader landscape.

However, to make a difference, innovations in agricultural technologies and practices must reach the field in a timely manner. For example, it takes an average of 16.5 years for a GM crop to get to market while it takes approximately 11 years to get a new pesticide to market and these long timetables translate into lost innovation and delayed opportunities. We work globally with our members to promote better regulatory and trade policies that nurture responsible innovation, provide fair access to technologies, and ensure their responsible and effective use.

Promoting Soil Health

To make progress on some of the world’s most pressing challenges such as food security, climate change and biodiversity, we must look at soil as a vital asset. Healthy soil strengthens the nutritional value of our food, stores billions of tons of CO2 equivalent each year, and functions as major carbon reservoirs and water regulators.

CropLife International is a proud supporter of the Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health, which is working with member states, research, civil society, farmers, NGOs, and the private sector to facilitate scaling and adoption of soil health improvement practices globally.

Through the amplification of the importance of soil health, our ambition is to work side-by-side with farmers to put soil squarely back at the center of the farm. There is much that the private sector does, such as designing financial mechanisms and investment solutions that can support farmers in the adoption of better soil practices; or supporting the development of voluntary and transparent carbon market and pricing mechanisms, including carbon credits as a tool and incentive to transition to sustainable agriculture and to provide extra income for farmers.