During an official Side Event at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, food systems leaders argued for the need to unlock investment to drive food systems transformation. The event was organized by CCE, TAPP Coalition, FAIRR.
“Everyone understands by now that we need to transform agri-food systems. They need to be more efficient, more sustainable, more inclusive so that everyone benefits from food,” says Zitouni Ould-Dada, Deputy Director of the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment at the U.N. Agriculture Organization (FAO).
To guide this transformation and help the food and agriculture sector reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, the FAO is producing a new roadmap, to be released in three parts.
The plan to develop the roadmap was announced at last year’s COP in Egypt, following an open letter from the investment community. The FAIRR Initiative, which led the coalition of investors in their call, argued that the finance community needs defined pathways to help them fund sustainable solutions in the food and agriculture sector.
But with the road map here, de-risking will now be critical, says Megan Waters, Senior Policy Officer for the FAIRR Initiative. It will be important to prove that there is a “safe pathway” and returns on investments are possible. Governments, she continues, can take this first step and demonstrate success by investing in food systems transformation.
The speakers note that in the energy sector, the world has already seen progress, with investors putting funds toward more sustainable alternatives.
“We’re trying to learn the lessons from the energy community in the private sector,” Ertharin Cousin, President and CEO of Food Systems for the Future. “We need to avoid the challenges of long discussions before we can actually begin to create the tools that will unlock capital.”
And Cousin says that with 3.1 billion people in the world unable to afford a healthy diet, action cannot wait. “It is essential to unlock the capital that is necessary for food systems transformation as well as the capital for a humanitarian response.”
Watch the full conversation HERE.
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