COP20 Day Seven – Zero poverty and zero emissions within a generation

Written by Alessia Valentini

On the edge of UNFCCC’s COP 20 in Lima, Peru, the Development and Climate days (DCD) took place this weekend. This two-day event was co-organized by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCCC).

Participants were invited to share ideas and better understand how the climate and poverty agendas can be best connected. Participants  at the DCC sent a clear message to the COP20 negotiators that they should be aiming for zero extreme poverty and zero net emissions within a generation. 

At the Lightening talks: What is our vision for achieving zero extreme poverty and zero net emissions, the participants were divided into small groups to cover a range of  sectors including agriculture, education, health, youth, water management, climate security and media communications. 

The group discussing climate-smart agriculture was led by Tinashe Chavhunduka, a farmer representing the World  Farmers Organization (WFO), who’s  participation in the COP20 was supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

“I am really enjoying  the DCD because they manage to bring together different voices  from civil society, that are not represented at the COP negotiations, and we in IFAD strongly support this,” said Ilaria Firmian from IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division. 
IFAD is strongly committed to climate change adaptation for smallholder farmers and believes they are a very important part of the solution to the problem of climate change, even though they are often overlooked in global and national policy debates. 

Through its Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) IFAD supports smallholders and provides them with the information, tools and technologies that helps build their resilience to climate change.  

The main message conveyed at the DCD was that the actions of reducing emissions and eradicating poverty are strictly linked to one another, and both require radical transformation. 
CDKN’s Sam Bickersteth) said: “We need to aim higher to reach our target. We can’t be in a business as usual stage any longer.” 

Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International, echoed his message, adding: “Perhaps we should be talking about climate crisis and not climate change. We do not have a choice. No water, no clean air, no biodiversity, no life”.