Research Topic

The Feasibility of Large-Scale Action for Adaptation and Mitigation

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Agriculture must reduce emissions globally by about 20%, if the UNFCCC 2°C goal for 2030 is to be achieved. At the same time it will be necessary to develop food supply systems that can adapt to future shifts in climate and meet future increases in food demand. Climate change adaptation and mitigation in ...

Agriculture must reduce emissions globally by about 20%, if the UNFCCC 2°C goal for 2030 is to be achieved. At the same time it will be necessary to develop food supply systems that can adapt to future shifts in climate and meet future increases in food demand. Climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture and food systems will be challenging to realise. The uncertainty of climate impacts, the nature of global food supply chains and the changing consumer demand coupled with volatility in supply and dependence of millions of farmers at various levels of economic development mean that climate actions need to be acceptable for varied stakeholders to cope with dynamic conditions.

Achieving large-scale change therefore will not be a matter of scaling up silver bullet technical solutions, but rather finding multiple solutions for multiple and changing contexts. The need is to achieve wide-scale transformation of the agriculture and food sector in the short time period necessary, and embed the necessary flexibility to respond to demand and supply pressures, while also seeking equitable and socially just outcomes. Achieving large-scale impacts may require far-reaching changes – for example:

• Changes in food types, food preference and consumption
• Changes in farming practices, farming systems, geography of agricultural land use; or an exit out of farming for some households
• Changes in resource flows in food systems, including energy use, reducing food loss and waste, recycling of waste
• Changes in the business and finance models of food processors and retailers
• Changes in the relationships among agronomic services, policy-makers and advisors
• Increased interdisciplinarity and changes to the relationships among different actors
• Changes to technical research, development, translation, outreach and capacity building

Interventions to support these changes include:
• New technical options for adaptation, including climate- and stress-adapted seeds and animal breeds, improved water management, food storage
• New technical options for mitigation, including artificial meat, low emissions cattle, N-fixing cereals, soil carbon storage food loss reduction
• Climate information services
• Insurance and safety-net mechanisms such as famine relief
• Novel ICT and digital technology to support information and finance flows
• Standards and certification for good management
• Markets for agricultural inputs or food products
• Climate and agricultural finance and investment
• Policy and governance at international, national and local scales including land use regulation, revised subsidies for fertilizers, energy and water; carbon taxes or markets; incentive or payment schemes
• Farmer organizations and networks
• Incentives systems for climate adaptation and mitigation
• Advocacy and consumer awareness building
• Monitoring, evaluation and learning systems for assessment of current or future impacts of climate, to support responsive action from farmer to policy levels

The aim of this Research Topic is to gather contributions from scientists working in diverse disciplines who have common interests in achieving large-scale impacts on adaptation and mitigation. We welcome scientists from different fields. Articles can be Original Research, Reviews, Technology Reports or Perspective papers. One goal is to demonstrate the drivers of positive impacts, as well as approaches to mitigation and adaptation that are feasible to implement at large scales. Critical perspectives on the limits to wide-scale impact are also welcome.

Suggested Topics:
• Bold food system transformations needed to achieve climate change adaptation and mitigation
• Blue sky technological options and what is needed to make them feasible
• The sociology and political economy of climate adaptation and mitigation
• Digital and Industry 4.0 solutions
• Feasibility assessments of low emission or adaptation technologies for large-scale impact
• Analysis of adaptation versus resilience options and needs
• Modeling farmer behavior change and innovation systems for transformational change
• Modeling supply chains and food systems for transformational change
• Economic costs and finance needs for achieving large-scale change
• SDG impacts and trade-offs in large-scale climate action for agriculture and the food system
• Foresight scenarios of policy alternatives, spatial impacts and investment needs
• Winners and losers in large-scale climate action in agriculture: how to ensure social inclusion and social justice


Keywords: Climate Change, Agriculture, Adaptation and Mitigation, Global Food Supply Chains, Sustainability


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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