Enhancing NDCs: Opportunities for Agriculture report

We must act now to reshape agriculture in ways that support farmers, improve productivity, build resilience, and reduce emissions. The goals of the Paris Agreement cannot be met without transformative changes in the agriculture sector. Incorporating more ambitious, explicit, and directed actions in enhanced NDCs can play an important role in helping the sector make necessary transitions. 

The CCAC commissioned a paper by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Oxfam on Enhancing NDCs: Opportunities in Agriculture. The paper identifies a range of possible actions for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector and offers examples of how these actions can be included in countries’ enhanced NDCs. It underscores the need for tailor-made approaches suited to a country’s unique set of circumstances. It also shows how enhanced policies, finance, and governance arrangements can support NDC implementation. 

The paper is targeted to national policymakers involved in climate and agriculture policy, as well as those tasked with updating NDCs and developing long-term strategies.


The purpose of this paper is to help countries identify ways to enhance their NDCs by incorporating solutions that will make their agriculture sector more sustainable, equitable, and resilient with reduced emissions. It is aimed at national policymakers who are tasked with updating their country’s NDC, as well as agriculture policymakers and other stakeholders looking to leverage their NDC to improve agriculture policies and practices and help communities that depend on agriculture for their livelihoods—especially vulnerable populations and women—not only survive but thrive. 

About the report

The paper proposes actionable win-win solutions for agriculture – both on the farm and for countries’ climate policies. Among others, these recommendations include: 

  • Better feed, health care and breeding of livestock 
  • Advanced crop management to help farmers achieve better yields  
  • Better land practices, including agroforestry and improved soil and water management 
  • Reductions in food loss and waste 

The paper also shows how enhanced policies, finance, and governance arrangements can support farms and farmers, particularly for small-scale producers that comprise the majority of farmers around the world, and female farmers who face significant barriers. Indeed, to be successful, the actions above must align with broader food security, equity and sustainable development imperatives carried out through transparent, participatory planning and tailored to national circumstances. Strong collaboration and coordination across government, from the national to the local level, and with the private sector and civil society can also increase the effectiveness and ease of implementation.  

The key message: deliberate, ambitious, and directed inclusion of actions in the agriculture sector in enhanced NDCs can bring wins for the farmer and wins for the climate. 

The global COVID-19 pandemic casts work on NDCs in a new light. COP26 has been delayed and national governments are understandably focusing on immediate economic stimulus, creating new jobs and securing household income. At the same time, national governments are also considering their medium- and long-term recovery needs—and this is where the economic recovery and agricultural climate action can intersect. Both can have complementary goals focused on building sustainable food systems, with the livelihoods of farmers—particularly small-scale and the most vulnerable—central to achieving that objective. This harmonization is more urgent than ever, as these groups have been hit especially hard by the global pandemic, which has exacerbated and exposed systemic failures in current food systems, further driving inequality and hunger. 

While the paper was written prior to the pandemic, many of the recommendations are applicable as national governments develop economic recovery plans with the agricultural sector in mind. The key is laying appropriate foundations and subsequently identifying actions that can deliver immediate and lasting benefits. Doing so will help ensure that advancements in the agricultural sector are tailored to a country’s unique set of needs, thus maximizing the chances of successful implementation.