COP28 calls on govts to ensure food systems, farming are central to climate action

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The COP28 UAE Presidency launched its Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda on Monday. This forms part of its continued work to define the COP28 Action Agenda leading into this year’s climate conference.

The Presidency, represented by Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister for Climate Change and Environment and COP28 Food Systems Lead, called on governments to demonstrate leadership by signing the first-ever Leaders Declaration on Food Systems, Agriculture and Climate Action, during the Food Systems Summit in Rome.

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The Declaration will invite national governments to align their national food systems and agriculture strategies, with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). It will also celebrate countries who are leading the way by putting food systems and agriculture at the heart of the climate process.

In addition, the COP28 Presidency will call upon a diverse group of stakeholders in the food and agriculture sector to accelerate existing initiatives across food systems, agriculture, and climate action.

The COP28 Presidency will bring together businesses, farmer and producer organizations, and other non-state actors to drive progress across production, consumption, food loss and waste. This partnership will work with over 15 leading CEOs and involve actors across each stage of the agriculture process, from production to consumption and finance. As part of this collaboration, a flagship initiative was also launched to promote the widespread adoption of regenerative agriculture in large food landscapes underpinned by procurement and investment commitments. This initiative will be co-chaired with the UN Climate Change High Level Champions, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

In a joint session on Food Systems and Climate Action at the UN Food Systems Summit Stocktaking Moment, co-chaired by, Mariam Almheiri and Antonio Tajani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, Almheiri highlighted the need to urgently increase the resilience of climate-vulnerable farmers and reduce food system-related emissions. She emphasized that the recalibration will also contribute to realizing both the Paris Agreement and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

“The COP28 Presidency’s commitment to prioritizing food systems demonstrates a dedication to address pressing global challenges. By mobilizing national leadership, engaging non-state actors, scaling innovation, and securing financing, COP28 aims to drive transformative change to secure a sustainable future for all,” COP28 Food Systems Lead, Almeiri said.

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