By Kilimokwanza.org News Team
Dubai, UAE – The COP28 Presidency has made a resounding declaration as 134 world leaders endorse its groundbreaking agriculture, food, and climate action declaration. In a landmark announcement, the Presidency also unveiled the mobilization of over USD$2.5 billion in funding to bolster food security while combating climate change, along with a pioneering partnership between the UAE and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at driving food systems innovation in the face of climate change.
The ‘COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action‘ (the Declaration) was unveiled during a special session of the World Climate Action Summit (WCAS), graced by notable leaders including Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, Giorgia Meloni, Prime Minister of Italy, Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa, Prime Minister of Samoa, and Anthony J. Blinken, Secretary of State for the United States of America. This Declaration seeks to address both global emissions and the protection of the lives and livelihoods of farmers who reside on the frontlines of climate change.
H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and COP28 Food Systems Lead, emphasized the critical role of food systems and agriculture in climate goals. She stated, “There is no path to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and keeping 1.5°C within reach that does not urgently address the interactions between food systems, agriculture, and climate.”
Countries worldwide are urged to prioritize food systems and agriculture in their climate ambitions, addressing global emissions while safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of frontline farmers. The commitment from countries across the globe is poised to shape a more resilient global food system.
The 134 signatory countries to the Declaration collectively represent over 5.7 billion people, nearly 500 million farmers, produce 70 percent of the world’s food, and bear responsibility for 76 percent of all emissions from global food systems or 25 percent of total global emissions.
Endorsing the Declaration is expected to strengthen food systems, enhance resilience to climate change, reduce global emissions, and contribute to the global fight against hunger, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Declaration underscores the need for collective action on climate change, particularly for those in vulnerable countries and communities.
Today’s announcement signifies a turning point, as it embeds sustainable agriculture and food systems as integral components in addressing climate change and shaping future-ready food systems.
Key announcements made during the session include:
- The UAE and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a USD$200 million partnership for Food Systems, Agriculture Innovation, and Climate Action. This initiative will focus on agricultural research, scaling agricultural innovations, and funding technical assistance for implementing the Declaration.
- The UAE joined the CGIAR, a global partnership uniting international organizations engaged in research related to food security, resilience, and climate adaptation.
- COP28 and a group of partners announced a collaborative effort to offer countries quality technical cooperation and help deliver on the objectives of the Declaration. The Technical Cooperation Collaborative partners pledged more than USD$200 million in new and newly aligned support while committing to increased coordination across their wider portfolios.
- COP28 UAE, in collaboration with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), launched the Action Agenda on Regenerative Landscapes. This initiative aims to scale regenerative agriculture, transitioning 160 million hectares to regenerative agriculture by 2030, accompanied by USD$2.2 billion in future investment, engaging 3.6 million farmers worldwide.
- The High-Level Champions, in partnership with non-governmental actors such as farmers, Indigenous Peoples, consumers, cities, youth, businesses, financial institutions, philanthropies, and others, launched a Call to Action for Transforming Food Systems for People, Nature, and Climate. This initiative supports the Declaration and emphasizes the urgency of action on food systems by all stakeholders.
The COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda encompasses four pillars: national leadership, non-state actors, scaling up innovation, and finance. COP28 is collaborating with representatives from every stage of the food system and agriculture value chain, including farmers, civil society, businesses, and local governments, to accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture.
This monumental declaration underscores the global commitment to addressing climate change through sustainable agriculture and resilient food systems.