Cop 22 – Briefing by Stephane Le Foll French Minister of Agriculture

Authors: Ruby Bird & Yasmina Beddou 

On October 21, 2016 was held an informal Briefing with some journalists to explain and pursue the French Plan toward MARRAKECH (Morocco) for the COP 22 on 7-18 November 2016. It will be the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties. One of the crucial issues debated was the Launch of the 4 per 1000 initiative by France on Tuesday 1st December 2015 during COP 21. Stéphane Le Foll, French Minister for Agriculture, AgriFood and Forestry; the Australian, German, New Zealand and Uruguayan Ministers for Agriculture; Graziano da Silva, General Secretary of the FAO and M. Mayaki, General Secretary of NEPAD were in attendance.
The 4 per 1000 initiative aims to generate growth in the rate of soil carbon in the form of organic matter of 0.4% per year in the coming decades. This rate of growth would make it possible to compensate for anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. It would concern agricultural soils (growth objective of 1.4 Gt of carbon per year), forests (1.3 Gt per year) and soils affected by salinization or desertification (0.5 to 1.4 Gt per year).
Growth in the organic matter of soils would make it possible to improve the resilience of agriculture and its adaptation to climate change (less sensitivity to erosion, improvement of water retention capacity, etc.), agricultural yield and, in fine, food safety.
Approximately thirty countries signed the initiative, including the majority of European Union countries, Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopa, Indonesia, Mexico, Niger, New Zealand, Turkey and Uruguay. As did ECOWAS, various research centres (including INRA, IRD and CIRAD) and various non-governmental organisations, foundations and agricultural organisations.