Knowing water better: towards fairer and more sustainable access to natural resources - KnoWat

COP26: Joint FAO-IRENA report on renewable energy for agri-food systems features Rwanda solar-powered irrigation


A new report launched on 4 November on the side lines of the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow explores the relationship between the world’s agri-food systems and renewable energy and argues that solutions are within our grasp. The production, distribution and consumption of food uses about a third of the world’s energy and is responsible for about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, making its decoupling from fossil fuels a priority in the fight against climate change.

Solar irrigation, for example, is being widely adopted to improve access to water, enabling multiple cropping cycles and increasing resilience to changing rainfall patterns. In India, the use of solar irrigation pumps has raised farmers’ incomes by at least 50 percent compared to rain-fed irrigation; in Rwanda, smallholder farmers’ yields have grown by about a third.

The report, Renewable energy for agri-food systems – Towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris agreement, is the result of a joint effort between the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

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