Author: Michael Peñuelas | Published: November 2017
The international community will gather in the second week of November to evaluate the progress that the 196 signatory countries to the Paris Climate Agreement have made since 2015. This will be the first global meeting of the signatories since President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw the United States (U.S.), the world’s second most significant emitter, from the agreement.
For American farmers and ranchers, climate change is an economic issue. A stable agricultural industry depends on a stable, predictable climate.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects that climate change will increase the variability of pest pressures, disease prevalence, temperature swings, and precipitation patterns across the U.S., as well as the regularity of extreme events including storms, floods, dry spells, sustained drought, and heat waves.
The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to coordinate efforts to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. Global temperatures are already up at least 0.85 degrees Celsius (1.53 degrees Fahrenheit) when averaged over all land and ocean surfaces, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The agreement supports countries in sharing resources to combat the sources of climate change and adapt to its effects. It provides support to developing countries who are responsible for the smallest share of planet-warming emissions.
In light of the Trump Administration’s position on the Paris Agreement, thousands of businesses and organizations from across U.S. civil society have signed the “We Are Still In” declaration, committing to pursue the goals of the Agreement. More than 1,700 businesses and investors signed, alongside 327 colleges and universities. Simultaneously, the mayors of 381 cities signed the #ClimateMayors pledge and the governors of 12 states plus Puerto Rico joined the United States Climate Alliance. Both groups support the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Major agriculture-related corporations either urged President Trump not to withdraw or criticized the action, including Cargill, Dow, DuPont, and Monsanto, as did major food companies, including Campbell’s, Coca-Cola, Dannon, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez (formerly Kraft Foods), and Unilever, among many others.