CGIAR Gender News

Creating opportunities for transformative climate adaptation by farmers

Some farming Photo: Felix Clay Duckrabbit/WorldFish

Climate responses necessitate trade-offs, which may reinforce inequality. A gender and social equity approach is required to ensure that farmers with least resilience benefit from climate action through transformative climate adaptation.

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. As the 2021 Sixth Assessment Report has captured, climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying. Food systems are large contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while many farmers, especially in the Global South, are adversely impacted by climate change in terms of droughts, flooding, and increased temperatures. Action is need on two fronts: climate mitigation (e.g. reducing emissions, creating carbon sinks) and climate adaptation (e.g. boosting peoples’ resilience to climate change).

Some in the business community may see climate action within food systems as a peripheral concern compared to more mainstream economic challenges. Our increasingly globalized world suggests otherwise. There are dangers of multiple breadbasket failures caused by simultaneous climate-induced crop reduction in key rice, wheat and maize growing areas worldwide. The impact of such a phenomenon has attracted the attention of the insurance industry. At a more granular level, climate change can adversely affect entire value chains, however local, by disrupting the quantity and quality of agricultural produce, reducing availability and raising prices.