Climate Smart Agriculture: the Emperor's New Clothes? (CIDSE)

cidse paper climate smart agriculture

Today we find ourselves facing converging food and climate challenges of an unprecedented scale. 

While on the one hand we live in a world in which nearly 805 million people are suffering from chronic hunger this situation is set to be exacerbated by climate change, which poses a major threat to food security. On the other hand, agriculture is itself a major contributor to the causes of climate change.

The concept of Climate Smart Agriculture has emerged as a means of simultaneously protecting people’s resilience in the face of climate change whilst also reducing the contribution of agriculture to its causes.  

This paper critically examines this concept and the Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) that was launched in September 2014. The paper recommends that for genuinely climate smart approaches to agriculture that guarantee the right to food, major weaknesses in the alliance and the concept of CSA need to be addressed.