Initiative Result:

CGIAR Advances the Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda

Authoring the 2023 Agriculture Breakthrough Agenda report leading which informed 17 countries’ international priority actions, and informing the COP28 Global Goal on Adaptation decision are among the 60 results reported by the Platform.

CGIAR is playing a crucial role in advancing the Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda — an unprecedented global effort to align concrete actions to keep global warming to 1.5°C or less. Launched by a coalition of 45 world leaders at the 2021 UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, it outlines a framework for countries, businesses, and civil society to further reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions in key emitting sectors through use of clean technologies.

Recognizing CGIAR’s half century of experience in agricultural research for development, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom (FCDO) commissioned CGIAR to draft the agriculture chapter of the Breakthrough Agenda Report 2023. In collaboration with scientists from several CGIAR Centers and Initiatives, the CGIAR Climate Impact Platform led in the writing of the Agriculture Breakthrough Report 2023. The chapter pulls on recommendations from the CGIAR Achieving Agricultural Breakthrough: A Deep Dive into Seven Technological Areas Report and provides an independent, authoritative assessment of the agriculture sector, offering insights into global collaborative actions needed by 2030. It also highlights the most urgent and high-impact opportunities to accelerate progress toward the Breakthrough goals.

Key principles for agricultural breakthroughs

The CGIAR Achieving Agricultural Breakthrough: A Deep Dive into Seven Technological Areas report intensively explores solutions to pressing global challenges in agriculture — challenges that must be overcome if climate-resilient, sustainable farming is to be made possible for millions of farmers in low- and middle-income countries by 2030. These small-scale farmers are disproportionately affected by increased floods, droughts, and other impacts of climate change.

Global actions and priorities

The agriculture chapter of the Breakthrough Agenda Report 2023 recommends five international actions, ranging from increased climate finance to strategic dialogues on international trade

  1. Increase climate finance to support deployment of agricultural technologies and approaches for which science has generated evidence on effectiveness, including agroecology, reducing food loss and water, reducing livestock methane emissions, reducing emissions from fertilizers, and crop and livestock breeding.
  2. Commit to a long-term process to test, develop evidence, and share learning on policy and implementation. This should prioritize redirecting subsidies to support agriculture to move toward sustainability and climate resilience and facilitating faster uptake of proven technologies in the sector.
  3. Develop common metrics and indicators to track the adoption of key sustainable agriculture solutions and to monitor the state of natural resources on which agriculture depends.
  4. Deliver higher levels of investment in agricultural research, development, and demonstrations over the course of this decade.
  5. Conduct strategic dialogues on how to ensure international trade facilitates and does not obstruct the transition to sustainable agriculture. Complement this by sharing best practices in mobilizing private investment and engaging food consumers.

These actions will support implementation of priority international actions developed collaboratively by countries participating in the Agriculture Breakthrough.

Each participating country will formulate its own national pathway to transition its agriculture sector to climate resilience and sustainability. The CGIAR Climate Platform strongly encourages coordinating bodies and partner initiatives to include private-sector and civil-society representatives where possible. The report also highlights the role of international collaboration in advancing breakthrough technologies across seven priority areas. Importantly, it includes practical solutions to address challenges small-scale farmers are facing worldwide.

Global impact of the Breakthrough Agenda

In the global agriculture sector, the Breakthrough Agenda has emerged as a vital initiative following discussions at COP26 (Glasgow, 2021) and COP27 (Egypt, 2022). Backed by 45 world leaders, it aims to accelerate innovation and the adoption of clean technologies worldwide. The momentum is strong with 48 signatories, including Australia, Egypt, and the UK, and co-leadership from the UK and Egypt. The Agriculture Breakthrough Agenda has been signed by 17 countries. Recommendations based on the agenda have been translated into actionable priorities by the FCDO. In 2024, the 17 signatory nations to the Agriculture Breakthrough Agenda will implement these actions, marking a significant advancement in addressing agricultural challenges.

The world simply cannot meet its climate or development goals without transforming agrifood systems. The agrifood sector can and must reduce its emissions while equipping farmers to cope with climate extremes.

Ismahane Elouafi, CGIAR Executive Managing Director

Header photo: Sukhdev Vishwakarma and his daughter Meen, both farm workers, use water from a solar water pump at a farm in Jagadhri, Haryana State, India. Prashanth Vishwanathan/CCAFS.

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