The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently announced that they will launch a plan in the next year to reduce the impact of food and agriculture systems on the environment. The news came during the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
The plan, which the FAO aims to publish at COP28, is intended to lower global greenhouse gas emissions from food and agriculture systems, according to Zitouni Ould-Dada, Deputy Director in the Climate and Environment Division at the FAO. Doing so will help the world achieve its goal to limit the average rise in global temperatures to 1.5 °C.
In June 2022 more than 40 investor groups released a letter calling on the FAO to develop a roadmap to support the transition to more sustainable global food systems by 2050. The Coalition of investors, led by the FAIRR Initiative, represents a combined US$18 trillion in assets.
Ould-Dada says that the energy sector has “clear roadmaps” which attract investors to drive change. While food and agriculture systems are responsible for one third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, they lack comparable plans.
“I don’t think we value the food enough,” says Ould-Dada. “We don’t value the soil enough. We don’t value the ecosystems in general enough.”
But for the first time, this year’s COP features multiple food and agriculture pavilions. And the news from Ould-Dada is further evidence that things are beginning to change.
“We welcome the FAO’s commitment to producing a roadmap for food and agriculture which will provide much needed clarity to both companies and investors, which will allow companies to plan for the transition and investors to assess investment risk and opportunities,” says Jeremy Coller, Founder of FAIRR. “It’s a huge challenge and investors will be looking for the roadmap to include clear guidance on methane emission limits, halting deforestation, scaling up alternative protein production, and support to ensure a just transition for farmers.”
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Photo courtesy of Priscilla du Preez, Unsplash