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FAO at COP28: Agrifood systems solutions to shape climate agenda

  • Director-General QU Dongyu will lead FAO delegation at the global event in Dubai, where the Organization will launch a series of reports and co-host the Food and Agriculture Pavilion

ROME – As the world grapples with the urgency of climate action, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will highlight at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP28 the unique potential of agrifood systems as the linchpin for sustainable solutions.

Director-General QU Dongyu will lead the FAO delegation at the global event, which takes place this year at the Expo City Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, from 30 November to 12 December, and expects the attendance of over 65,000 people, including the member states (of Parties) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), around 150 world leaders, private sector, young people, climate scientists, Indigenous Peoples, journalists and various influencing climate action advocates such as Pope Francis and King Charles.

“The climate and food crises are inseparable. Investing in agrifood systems and rural areas creates the concrete solution to address the impacts of the climate crisis. At COP28 FAO will systematically highlight how agrifood systems transformation accelerates climate action to the benefit of people, prosperity and the planet”, QU said.

Discussion and negotiations this year are set to cover critical workstreams, aiming to make substantial progress on key issues. One is finalizing the details of the loss and damage finance facility agreed to be established at COP27 to aid vulnerable communities at the forefront of the impacts-including farmers- in dealing with immediate climate impacts. Another imperative goal is advancing towards a global finance objective to support developing countries in their climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Accelerating both an energy transition and a just transition, as well as addressing the emissions gap, are also critical areas that will be under consideration, among others.

COP28 will also see the conclusion of the first-ever global stocktake, a process done by countries and stakeholders to evaluate where the progress is stagnating (or not) towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. The process will end with a decision which is expected to be leveraged to accelerate ambition in the next round of climate action plans (Nationally Determined Contributions) due in 2025 something that FAO has been supporting countries with.

FAO will support its Members during these processes, including discussions on the Sharm el-Sheikh joint work on the implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security which brings the discussion of agrifood systems solutions into the heart of the negotiations.

FAO is also committed to assist countries with the implementation of agrifood systems solutions fully aligned with the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action. The Declaration will be unveiled in Dubai as part of the Presidency’s ambitious agenda on food and agriculture that will be a central feature of the World Climate Action Summit on 1 December and the Food, Agriculture and Water Day on 10 December.

COP28 serves as a vital platform for collaborative dialogue, knowledge exchange, and decision-making regarding the distinctive role of agrifood systems in the battle against climate change. Taking into account that the agrifood sector contributes to one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, innovative solutions within agrifood systems contribute directly to climate action, also fostering resilience and adaptation, safeguarding biodiversity, and ensuring global food security and nutrition in a world where around 735 million people are currently facing hunger.

As part of its Strategic Framework 2022-31,  Climate Change Strategy and Science and Innovation Strategy, and respective action plans, FAO already supports countries to deliver solutions for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life. However, a transformation of agrifood systems to tackle the climate crisis can only be realized by scaling up investment in action at local, national, and global levels. A call for a collective effort to scale up investments, embrace innovative financing, and implement transformative strategies for a climate-resilient future is at the core of FAO’s participation at the international meeting.

FAO will also co-host the Food and Agriculture Pavilion along with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), CGIAR and the Rockefeller Foundation, leading events and providing technical advice to member countries, both within and outside the official negotiation process.

Science and innovation will be also at the center of agrifood systems solutions showcased at COP, from solar-powered water irrigation systems to cutting-edge technology to tackle food loss and waste, experts will show how producing more food with fewer inputs and less environmental damage is a multi-benefit climate solution.



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