Agriculture footnoted in Cancún Agreements

COP16 President Espinosa and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres moments after the gavel fell


Delegates at the COP16 climate change talks approved an outcome package, dubbed the “Cancún Agreements”, early Saturday morning. 

Acclaimed by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres as having “reignited” faith in the climate change talks, the agreeements scarcely mention agriculture. 

Agriculture and food security are included in a footnote, in the Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention, as areas deserving priority consideration in projects and programmes for enhancing action on adaptation.  In addition, no decision on a work programme on agriculture under the Subsidiary Body for Technological Advice (SBSTA) was rendered. 

Support for developing countries 

The agreements do however go some way towards helping developing countries meet the climate change challenge, including through finance, technology and institutional support to underpin their adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Key point include agreement on:

  • The provision for $30 billion in fast-track financing, and plans to create a $100 billion fund by 2020, to help developing countries cope with climate change and reduce emissions from deforestation.
  • A process to design a Green Climate Fund under the Conference of the Parties, with a board with equal representation from developed and developing countries, is also established.
  • The set up of a registry to record and match developing country mitigation actions to finance and technology support from industrialised countries. Developing countries are to publish progress reports every two years.
  • Establishment of a new “Cancún Adaptation Framework” to allow better planning and implementation of adaptation projects in developing countries through increased financial and technical support, including a clear process for continuing work on loss and damage.
  • Strengthening the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism to drive more major investments and technology into environmentally sound and sustainable emission reduction projects in the developing world.
  • Establishment of a technology mechanism with a Technology Executive Committee and Climate Technology Centre and Network to increase technology cooperation to support action on adaptation and mitigation.


The complete outcome documents are available here: