COP28 adopts food security as key climate change issue

COP28 adopts food security as key climate change issue
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The COP Presidency Declaration on Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action was endorsed by 134 world leaders yesterdsy, committing to include food and agriculture in national climate plans for the first time and to scale up funding.

Food has long been a side issue at COP.  The declaration sends a clear signal that food is now firmly on the climate agenda - this is critical as it accounts for a third of global emissions and is highly vulnerable to climate impacts.

However the rhetoric will need to be turned into a reality with clear actions, targets, timetables and funding for food systems in new national climate plans ahead of COP30.

The leaders commit to expedite the integration of agriculture and food systems into climate action and, simultaneously, to mainstream climate action across policy agendas and actions related to agriculture and food systems by 2025 through strengthening respective and shared efforts to:

1. Pursue broad, transparent, and inclusive engagement, as appropriate within national

contexts, to integrate agriculture and food systems into National Adaptation Plans, Nationally

Determined Contributions, Long-term Strategies, National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans,

and other related strategies before the convening of COP30.

2. Revisit or orient policies and public support related to agriculture and food systems to promote

activities which increase incomes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and bolster resilience,

productivity, livelihoods, nutrition, water efficiency and human, animal and ecosystem health while

reducing food loss and waste, and ecosystem loss and degradation.

3. Continue to scale-up and enhance access to all forms of finance from the public, philanthropic

and private sectors - including through blended instruments, public-private partnerships and other

aligned efforts - to adapt and transform agriculture and food systems to respond to climate change.

4. Accelerate and scale science and evidence-based innovations - including local and indigenous

knowledge - which increase sustainable productivity and production of agriculture and related

emerging domains, promote ecosystem resilience and improve livelihoods, including for rural

communities, smallholders, family farmers and other producers.

5. Strengthen the rules-based, non-discriminatory, open, fair, inclusive, equitable and transparent

multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core.

With seven years remaining to achieve these shared goals, the leaders intend to strengthen collaboration amongst respective ministries - including agriculture, climate, energy, environment, finance, and health - and with diverse stakeholders to achieve the objectives and efforts articulated in the Declaration, and as appropriate within their national contexts.

There will be a review on collective progress next year at COP29 with a view to considering next steps in 2025 and beyond.

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