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1 Jul 2019


Trading for Good: Climate Change and Agriculture

The 2019 Summer Symposium of the International Agricultural Research Consortium (IATRC) brought together almost 50 scholars from all continents, including EU and US officials. WTI Fellow Christian Häberli was invited as a keynote speaker to the final plenary session.

Climate change also affects agricultural production and trade. Even the best agronomists and economists find that it is still extremely difficult to model the different impacts otherwise than with empirical studies.
The 2019 Summer Symposium of the International Agricultural Research Consortium (IATRC) brought together almost 50 scholars from all continents, and EU and US officials. They met for three days in Seville (Spain) with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.The studies showed the complexity of the issues e.g. of temperatures and precipitation change impacting food prices and cropland dynamics, as well as  food processing, trade and investment.
WTI Fellow Christian Häberli was invited as a keynote speaker to the final plenary session on 25 June 2019, and looked at these proposals through the (often-contradictory) lenses of the commitments under both the Climate Change and the WTO Agreements (“differentiation” vs “non-discrimination”). He also noted that, so far, not a single country has submitted its commitments under the Climate Change Agreement in terms of agricultural policy reforms (“Nationally Determined Contributions” - NDC). Most participants agreed that – in the absence of agreed, international “climate-smart” standards and regulations – much more analytical research, data, and field studies will be required to offer policy-makers and regulators adequate and informed choices for effective greenhouse gas reductions along the food value chain.
A wide field has opened for interdisciplinary research - and for better stakeholder interaction.