The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ben Lilliston,Communications Director,(612) 870-3416,

Climate Agreement Must Support Shift Toward Sustainable Agriculture

New paper series tackles climate challenges for agriculture


To effectively address global climate
change, policy solutions must support a transition toward more sustainable
agriculture systems that recognize the critical role agriculture plays in the
world, concludes a series of issue
released today by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
(IATP). The papers are being published a week before global climate talks begin
in Copenhagen.

"We cannot truly address climate change without
getting it right on agriculture," said IATP President Jim Harkness.
"Agriculture is a contributor to climate change, but just as importantly
it profoundly affects land use around the world, and has the potential to be
part of the solution. Smart climate policy for agriculture can help address
hunger, support rural livelihoods, improve water quality and biodiversity, and
strengthen our energy security."

The climate series covers a wide range of topics:

Agriculture and Climate--The Critical
, by Jim Kleinschmit, gives an overview of the science of
agriculture and climate change.

Putting Agriculture on the Global Climate
by Anne Laure Constantin, sets benchmarks for including agriculture
within global climate negotiations.

U.S. Climate Policy and Agriculture, by
Julia Olmstead, reviews how agriculture is considered in U.S.
legislation and makes recommendations for a better approach.

Speculating on Carbon: The Next Toxic Asset, by
Steve Suppan, analyzes how Wall Street speculators could influence agriculture
and climate goals.

Eye of the Storm: Integrated Solutions to the
Climate, Agriculture and Water Crises,
by Shiney Varghese, explains
water's role in the climate and agriculture crises.

Climate Inequity, by Shalini Gupta and
Dr. Cecilia Martinez, traces the historical inequities that have contributed to
climate change, and proposes a more equitable climate policy.

"We are at a unique moment in history that compels us
to face several crises at the same time," said Harkness. "In
addition to global warming, there are now over one billion people around the
world who are hungry. Our financial meltdown has led to growing unemployment,
particularly in rural communities. A shift toward low-input, sustainable
agriculture systems is a crucial part of building a greener, more stable
economy and addressing each of these crises."

IATP is sending a delegation of eight to Copenhagen and will
conduct a series of workshops on climate and agriculture. You can read all the
issue briefs, watch videos with the authors and find out more about
IATP's activities in Copenhagen at:

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.