Late bloomer? Agricultural policy integration and coordination patterns in climate policies

2019-05-22T14:48:23Z (GMT) by Nicole M. Schmidt

The ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement demands action across all policy domains and even scrutinizes traditionally privileged ones, including agriculture. Is agriculture playing an increasingly important role in climate policies? Existing research argues that the insulated agricultural domain is opening up and becoming more multidimensional. Whether such developments are visible in the comparatively new climate domain, however, has not been systematically assessed yet. This article seeks to advance the academic debate on policy integration by examining the opposite direction of integration, i.e. the integration of agricultural components into climate policies. To assess coordination efforts, I investigate which ministries are represented in climate policies. I provide a global perspective by analyzing over 1000 climate policies from 1990 to 2017 and find that climate policies with mentions of agriculture are increasing. This is particularly true of EU and African countries, and since 2005. However, half of the data made no reference to agriculture and hardly ever mentioned agricultural ministries. I argue that agricultural ministries’ involvement in climate policymaking is crucial to the meaningful achievement of agri-climate objectives. The fragmented picture suggests that, while climate policies are becoming more multidimensional, both domains continue to co-exist rather than to merge into an entity.