Expansion of the Climate Bonds Standard into sustainable agriculture
The public consultation for the proposed Agriculture Criteria starts today and will close on 31st March 2020. We're looking forward to receiving your feedback.
The implementation of sustainable agricultural practices is necessary for the industry to successfully reduce emissions, adapt to changes in weather patterns, and withstand the pressures placed on food security by population growth.
It is estimated that up to 80% of deforestation is the result of agricultural expansion. The food supply chain contributes 19-29% of global GHG emissions. Yet most of the food system emissions occur at the farm level (80%–86%). The remainder comes from pre-farmgate production and post-farmgate activities such as processing, packaging, refrigeration, transport, retail, catering, domestic food management and waste disposal (Vermeulen et al., 2012).
Estimates suggest that between USD 7 billion and 7.6 billion are required per year for adaptation measures in the Agriculture, Food and Forestry sectors. Despite the need for more finance flows directed towards addressing climate impacts on these sectors, this theme remains small. It accounts for USD 37.3bn or just over 3% of the climate-aligned bond universe.
Improved guidance, such as this Agriculture Criteria, is likely to catalyse investment and can be utilised by governments in setting regulation or recommendations for decarbonising the sector.
The Agriculture Criteria: how we ended up here
Development of the Agriculture Criteria originally began through development of the Land Use Criteria. However, it was resolved that, in order to improve the ambition of each of the Criteria, sustainable land use should be tackled with a few separate development streams.
The Climate Bonds Initiative convened an Agriculture Technical Working Group (TWG) in early 2019 comprised of experts across 20 organisations including universities, NGOs and consultancies. The full list of TWG and IWG representatives can be found here.
The TWG developed mitigation and adaptation requirements for agricultural activities.
These mitigation and adaptation requirements were then reviewed by the Industry Working Group (IWG) made up on agricultural and green bond industry experts to make sure that the Criteria were applicable for the green bond market.
We need YOUR input
We welcome reviewers from around the world to feed into our public consultation process for this Criteria.
Please download the Brochure, Criteria Document and Background Document from our Agriculture webpage and submit the Feedback Form with your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 31st March 2020.
The last word
Developing the Agriculture Criteria is another stage in the expansion of the Climate Bonds Standard into new industry sectors.
Like other Sector Criteria under the Climate Bonds Standard, the goal in Agriculture is to have a science-based and verifiable screening process for both issuers and investors to assess the climate and environmental benefits of investing in the agriculture sector. The ultimate objective is to catalyse increased public and private investment, in agriculture-based climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience interventions.
Public feedback is integral to the development and review process that our TWG & IWG groups undertake.
The Shipping Criteria is due to launch its public consultation in the coming months. Do pass along the opportunity to comment on this other exciting new Criteria to any shipping experts that you may know.
Looking forward to receiving your ideas!
‘Til next time,