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Climate Change

plant Over the last few years there has been a re-emergence of attention to agriculture and food security in the context of a changing climate. Globally, the sector accounts for 13-15% of greenhouse gas emissions. In Africa, there are important concerns over the vulnerability of farmers and farming systems, also given the sector’s key economic importance across the continent.

It is increasingly clear that the focus on climate change will shape agricultural development in Africa in significant ways over the coming decades. But with the growing attention comes an increasing complexity of actors in the debate both on the nature of the problem and the most appropriate solutions.


The Climate Change Theme of FAC was set up to analyse this complexity and to open up critical issues for debate through case studies, briefing papers and roundtable discussions. The aim is to help broaden the policy debates on climate change and agriculture to include alternative adaptation and mitigation pathways for the sector.

'Carbon missionaries': saving Africa from itself?

French missionaries in Africa, c.1930

Carbon schemes, designed to protect and sustain forests in the global South, can conflict with the interests of those who live in and depend on them.

On our blog, Joanes Atela problems with the 'missionary discourse' behind this key part of the green economy, through cases from Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Missionary discourses - can the green economy bring climate justice to the South? 


3 ways for agriculture to make its mark on climate negotiations


Agriculture has been a neglected topic in UN climate change talks. Now, new 'framings' of agriculture may be set to bring it out of the sidelines.

On the blog, Natasha Grist looks at three ideas which might give farming and food a more central role at COP19 and other similar talks.


Climate adaptation in West Africa: reviewing policies & evidence

dry-ghanaAfrica’s agriculture sector is commonly regarded as vulnerable to particular impacts of climate change. Adapting to climate change is an important area for research and policy development. A series of three working papers reviews research and policy on climate change adaptation in the three key areas of agriculture, urban areas and health in West Africa.

The papers aim to enhance knowledge for evidence-based policy formulation.


Is climate compatible development possible?

fishing boat, Ghana

Can acting on climate change and development be reconciled in an unequal world?

On the blog, Lars Otto Naess, our Climate Change theme convenor, explains a new project working in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique which looks at the political economy of initiatives that aim to address climate change and development goals.

Global climate politics meets national agricultural policy


Agriculture has not always had an easy ride in international climate negotiations. But even when farming and food are considered, there is sometimes conflict between global politics and local policy processes.

On the blog, Joanes Atela considers how global climate politics has influenced African agriculture, and the prospects for more inclusive approaches that empower farmers.


How can Africa adapt to climate change?


As the world meets to discuss adaptation climate change at the COP19 conference, Future Agricultures research looks at how African agricultural policy is responding in different ways to this major challenge.

Our work looks at how climate policy discussions are shaping agriculture in Kenya and Ethiopia; how to make more gender-responsive policies to adapt to climate change; and how to make better links between research and policy.