Climate change and the biodiversity crisis are interdependent. The daunting complexity of their interaction for agriculture and land highlights the urgent need for intensified research and policies. Engaged in similar efforts to address these challenges, both the EU and China pledge to achieve climate neutrality and conserve biodiversity. September 2020 represented a major milestone in these commitments, marked by the Communication “Stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition” by the European Commission, and by President Xi Jinping‘s announcement of aiming for climate neutrality before 2060 at the 75th United Nations General Assembly. Agriculture, Land use and land use change, and forestry (AFOLU) will play an increasingly important role in achieving these goals on biodiversity and climate change, and it is critical to ensure adaptation, mitigation and biodiversity benefits are incorporated into activities in the AFOLU sector.
In this context, the Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) of the European Commission, with assistance of Renmin University of China, organized a virtual Sino-European expert dialogue about science-informed policy on agriculture and land for climate and biodiversity.
Some of the key findings and recommendations emerging from the meeting were to:
Experts also identified key knowledge gaps and scientific policy and governance areas for cooperation – you will find this as well as a short summary of the various inputs in the attached policy brief.
Throughout the year of 2021, EU-China expert level workshops will be organised on the nexus between climate change and biodiversity as well as the unique role of agriculture and land for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In this way, we hope to contribute to the scientific discussion between the EU and China and to provide these insights to the two top multilateral events – the biodiversity COP in Kunming and the climate change COP in Glasgow later this year.