High Level Panel 2: European Commissioner for Agriculture

Climate change – what’s agriculture got to do with it!?

European Commissioner for Agriculture 

Time: Wednesday, 20. January 2021, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (CET), subsequent deep dive 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Languages: English, French, German, Polish, Spanish


  • The topics that were discussed covered three dimensions of agriculture’s interaction with the climate: the agri-food sector’s contribution to climate change mitigation; the climate-resilience of food systems; and the role of international trade and development cooperation.
  • The High Level Panel concluded that modernising the global food system and producing food around the world in a more environmentally responsible and climate-smart manner can (and should) make a large contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change, particularly on vulnerable communities.
  • The way food is produced, traded and consumed, i.e. the global food value chain, needs to take into account the reality of climate change and prepare for its impacts: while a shift towards sustainability is inevitable, we must also diversify the food chain to ensure uninterrupted food security for all. Shortening the value chain, producing food locally and reducing transport costs would mean lower CO2 emissions and could contribute to climate change mitigation.
  • Finally, we must adapt the existing channels of international trade and development cooperation to better take into account the need to address the environmental and climate implications of the global food system. Our future development cooperation can be a real tool for effective joint action on agriculture, climate, innovation and value chain addition.
  • In this sense, the Panel has reaffirmed our appreciation for the acute relevance of the theme chosen by our host Germany, and confirmed the Commissioner’s belief that the Big Picture is, indeed, global in scope, and all parts of the puzzle, be it agri-food trade, climate change, international cooperation or food security, are all connected.


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Panel Guests

He has advanced legal studies: Master’s degree in law, graduated from the University of Łódź, Department of Law and Administration. He was Member of the European Court of Auditors, representing Poland, from May 2016 to November 2019. He was also a judge, President of the Supreme Audit Office of Poland, Vice-marshal of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland, Member of the European Parliament of 3 terms (2004-2016); Member of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals in the European Parliament since his 1st term in 2004; since 2014 till 2016 its President.
Author & co-author of the comments on the Polish Penal Code (5x); author of more than 100 articles and publications on criminal law in various legal magazines in Poland and author of articles on socio-legal issues.


1977 Advanced legal studies: Master’s degree in law, graduated from the University of Łódź, Department of Law and Administration
Professional experience:
2019 – present: Member of the European Commission, Commissioner for Agriculture
2016 – 2019: Member of the European Court of Auditors
2004 – 2016: Member of the European Parliament
2001 – 2004: Deputy Speaker of the Polish Parliament (Sejm)
1995 – 2001: President of the Polish Supreme Audit Office (NIK)
1993 – 1995: Member of the Polish Parliament (Sejm)
1991 – 1993: Judge at the High Court of Justice
1990 – 1993: Member of the National Council of the Judiciary of Poland
1990 – 1991: Judge seconded to the Supreme Court
1980 –  1993: Regional court judge, provincial court judge and judge at the Court of Appeal
1977 – 1980: Trainee public prosecutor

National parliament offices held
2001 – 2004: Chairman of the Committee on Codification Changes
2001 – 2004: Deputy Speaker of the Polish Parliament (Sejm)
2001 – 2004; 1993 – 1995: Member of the Polish Parliament (Sejm)

National government offices held
1994 – 1995: Under-Secretary of State in the Cabinet Office with responsibility for Legislative Affairs

Offices held in external audit bodies
1995 – 2001: President of the Polish Supreme Audit Office (NIK)

Offices held in the judiciary
1991 – 1993: Judge at the High Court of Justice
1990 – 1993: Member of the National Council of the Judiciary of Poland
1990 – 1991: Judge seconded to the Supreme Court
1980 – 1993: Judge at district, provincial and appeal courts

Offices held in the EU institutions
2004 – 2016: Member of the European Parliament
2004 – 2016: Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
2004 – 2012: Member of the Committee on Budgetary Control
2004 – 2016: Delegation to the EU-Kazakhstan, EU-Kyrgyzstan and EU-Uzbekistan Parliamentary Cooperation Committees and for relations with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Mongolia
2007 – 2009: Substitute member of the Committee on Budgets
2003 – 2004: Observer at the European Parliament

Other activities
2014 – 2016: President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals
2004 – 2016: Member of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals

Offices held in other international organisations
1995 – 1999: Member of the Governing Board of EUROSAI — European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Compton—Stanstead (Quebec) in 2015.

Minister Bibeau was a manager of international projects and an entrepreneur in the tourism sector prior to being elected to the House of Commons. She served as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie where under her leadership, Canada adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy. Her commitment to the empowerment of women and girls internationally earned her the World Vision Voice of Children Award in 2019 and the CARE Global Leaders Network Humanitarian Award in 2018.

In March 2019, she became the first woman in Canadian history to be appointed federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. In this role, Minister Bibeau works with provinces, territories, and agricultural stakeholders to ensure the well-being of farming families, the prosperity of rural Canada, and the protection of our environment. She is committed to ensuring that women and youth are better represented in the functions and decision-making processes of the various agricultural sectors. She also works with international partners to grow agricultural exports, while protecting supply management. In June 2019, Minister Bibeau launched the first-ever Food Policy for Canada, which aims to strengthen food security for Canadians, and to promote a thriving and sustainable food system in Canada.

Minister Bibeau is an experienced businesswoman, and co-owned a successful tourism business that won numerous awards. She was also the Director of Accreditation for the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, and the Executive Director of the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science.

Minister Bibeau was born, raised, and educated in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a graduate diploma in Environmental Management from the Université de Sherbrooke.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is also responsible for the following organizations:

  • Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal
  • Canadian Dairy Commission
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency*
  • Canadian Grain Commission
  • Farm Credit Canada
  • Farm Products Council of Canada
Johan Swinnen became director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in January 2020. He is a member of the Champions 12.3 Leadership Group to Reduce Food Loss and Waste (SDG Target 12.3) and also serves as the Commissioner of the Food Systems Economics Commission. Prior to joining IFPRI, Dr. Swinnen was professor of economics and director of the LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at KU Leuven (Belgium) and senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

Dr. Swinnen was a lead economist at the World Bank from 2003 to 2004 and economic adviser to the European Commission from 1998 to 2001. Over the course of his career, Dr. Swinnen has been a visiting professor at various universities, including at Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and the Environment, and a frequent adviser to institutions such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Dr. Swinnen earned his PhD from Cornell University (USA) and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Göttingen (Germany) and the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia). He is a fellow of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association and the European Association of Agricultural Economists, and he served as president of the International Association of Agricultural Economists from 2012 to 2015.

Dr. Swinnen has published extensively on agricultural and food policies, international development, political economy, institutional reforms, trade, and global value chains, and his body of work has been widely cited. His recent book, The Political Economy of Agricultural and Food Policies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), has received the 2019 Book Award from the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE). His other books include Quality Standards, Value Chains and International Development (Cambridge University Press, 2015); Political Power and Economic Policy: Theory and Empirical Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2011); and From Marx and Mao to the Market: The Economics and Politics of Agricultural Transition (Oxford University Press, 2006).

Is a Ugandan young agriprenuer, President of the Pan Africa Farmers Organization (PAFO) and also the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF). Elizabeth is a member of the United Nations Advisory Committee for The Secretary General’s Food Systems Summit 2021 and also a member of the AU – EU Cooperation task force on agriculture committee. she sits on the Global steering committee for Forest Farm Facility (FFF), is a Governing Council member for Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM) sits on the steering committee of Pan Africa Agribusiness Apex Body (PAAAB) and many other local farmers’ and cooperatives platforms. She is a passionate cooperator and farmer who has been at the fore front of championing digitalization of the agriculture sector through the EAFF farmers’ owned E-granary mobile initiative that virtually aggregates farmers for input, services and output markets. As a result of her efforts in supporting Farmers Organizations, she was recently Globally recognized by the World Farmers Organization as one of the women contributing to sustainable development.



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