Food Tank’s Dispatch from the U.N. Climate Change Conference is a special newsletter series running daily during COP27. To make sure it lands straight in your inbox and to be among the first to receive it, subscribe to Food Tank’s newsletter now by clicking here.
I’m coming to you live from the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. As governments, advocates, activists, researchers, and other stakeholders gather for these critical discussions, I’m excited to share my personal notes and reflections with you.
As I mentioned in my last message to you, we’re calling this conference #FoodCOP27 because—more than any previous COP conference—this conference is recognizing the power of food systems in addressing climate change.
And #FoodCOP27 is already off to an incredible start.
Yesterday, the Food and Agriculture Pavilion explored how the Global South can teach the Global North, featuring research and innovation to address food security in Africa amidst climate change.
“The research agenda has to be informed by the needs of not just the policymakers, but the farmers as well, and all other stakeholders,” says Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba of the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network. (Watch the panel replay here.)
Meanwhile, during the Food Systems Pavilion panel titled “Diversification through Indigenous, neglected, and aquatic foods,” speakers addressed why diversification is key to enabling a culture of sustainable, healthy, and nutritious diets for all.
“By tapping into Indigenous food groups and local, traditional farming practices and diversifying our diets, we’re not just enabling a healthier lifestyle that is sustainable, but we’re also reclaiming a food system that is holistic, ethical, and that is restorative to the planet,” says Louise Mabulo, Founder of The Cacao Project and UN Young Champion. (Watch here.)
At the Food4Climate Pavilion, speakers emphasized the importance of youth and their role in driving food systems transformation. These youth will be making decisions as policymakers tomorrow, but they have a role to play today, as well, says Dennis Mombauer of SLYCAN Trust. “They don’t have to wait for tomorrow to act.” (Watch here.)
Food Tank’s events kick off Thursday! If you’re on the ground in Egypt, we can’t wait to see you. Please email our co-founder Bernard Pollack at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add you to a list of specific private event invitations, receptions, dinners, and more.
For those following along at home, check out Food Tank’s full schedule of events to tune in to live streams HERE. And don’t forget to share your thoughts, reactions, ideas, and inspiration with me using #FoodCOP27.
What I’m thinking about as COP27 negotiations continue:
- European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen called on developing countries to “team up” with the trade bloc by providing it with the clean energy sources it needs to cut dependence on Russian fossil fuels. She also called on high-emitting countries to step up their climate ambitions. “Let us not take the highway to hell,” says Von Der Leyen. “Let’s earn the clean ticket to heaven.” (Read more on Bloomberg.)
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told conference delegates in a video message that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has distracted world governments from efforts to combat climate change and boosted demand for coal. “There can be no effective climate policy without the peace,” says Zelenskyy. (Read more on Reuters.)
Powerful Quotes From Today’s Discussions:
- “Science doesn’t move people to change their behavior, it’s emotions.” — Rayan Kassem, West Asia Regional Director, Youth4Nature
- “Today there is growing recognition…that climate change and malnutrition are two sides of the same coin.” — Dr. Saskia Osendarp, Executive Director, Micronutrient Forum
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Photo courtesy of Pat Whelan, Unsplash