Climate change, energy and food
High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy Rome, 3-5 June 2008


Private sector consultation

Date: 27-28 March 2008

The Rome-based UN institutions in collaboration with EcoSecurities organize a Private Sector Stakeholder Consultation and Dialogue on 27 and 28 March 2008 at FAO Headquarters in Rome. Stakeholder consultations with the private sector and the civil society as well as expert meetings are conducted in preparation of the ‘High-Level Conference on Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy’ that will be held in Rome from 3-5 June 2008.

Responding to the call by the UN-Secretary General in 2007 for a joint response by the UN system and its agencies to contribute to the combat against climate change and conscious that climate change will severely impact the agricultural, rural and land-use sectors, with especially severe consequences for developing countries and food security, the Rome-based UN agencies – FAO, IFAD, WFP, and the Global Mechanism, are committed to step up efforts in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Food security, a central concern to these agencies, is threatened by the changing climate as well as by the increasing demand for bioenergy. Demand which, at the same time, can also be seen as a chance to contribute to the improvement of local livelihoods, depending on the local context – further activities in the agricultural, rural and land-use sectors can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation whilst promoting rural development.

A joint process recently initiated by the Rome-based UN agencies, constituting a Centre of Competence for Rural Development, being part of these efforts, intends to engage in global activities at a large scale to reduce the emissions from the agriculture, rural and land use sectors so that these so far underrepresented sectors can benefit from the emerging carbon markets and related investments while at the same time assisting with the development of urgently needed adaptation measures. More specifically, FAO would provide technical expertise and global field presence and networks whereas IFAD would start earmarking significant financial resources to provide public sector seed capital to kick-start the process and investments for project development and implementation. The Global Mechanism would provide experience in the coordination of public-private sector related climate change funding initiatives and WFP is also offering field presence and a global network. However, without the private sector activities will not reach their full potential and the necessary scale.

The Consultation will provide a unique forum for the private sector to get in touch with the UN system, raise international policy options for the High Level Conference and ensure that the food security impacts of climate change are addressed in the context of the Post-Kyoto Protocol negotiations. It shall also encourage collaborations and new partnerships between the private sector and the Rome-based institutions in response to the challenges imposed by climate change.  This invitation-only event will bring together a limited number of selected decision-makers, senior experts and relevant stakeholders from the private sector, including agri-businesses and representatives from the energy, transport, manufacturing, retailing, insurance, banking and finance sectors.

The Consultation will also be informed by a Working Group which was born out of a public-private sector expert dialogue on ‘Investing in Emissions Reduction and Rural Development’ held in Rome last November and announced at the UNFCCC CoP 13 in Bali. The Group started to work on issues related to facilitation measures for the identification, development and implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures in the he agricultural, rural and land-use sectors.

The Consultation will be highly interactive with a focus on moderated and facilitated sessions to allow for discussions and an exchange of views and ideas on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and investment opportunities that will promote  rural development and provide energy and food security. Short presentations for discussion will be delivered by representatives from key areas of the private sector.