How COP 27 became the COP of food systems

How COP 27 became the COP of food systems

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Whats up from COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. I am sending this version of Meals Weekly from my hotspot, so sure, there have been many challenges related to this international summit, as you’ve got in all probability learn elsewhere. However I am glad I got here.

This COP was a watershed second for meals techniques. No matter the place the official negotiations find yourself by the top of this week, the organizers ought to be extraordinarily proud to have superior the worldwide recognition of meals and agriculture because the offender and the local weather resolution.

Construct an unstoppable momentum

“We are able to section out fossil fuels, however we can’t section out meals, so we have to rework meals techniques,” stated João Campari, international head of meals practices at WWF. “We’re in the present day the place the vitality was 30 years in the past, however we do not have 30 years to make the change.” It is vitally true. However given how shortly meals has taken middle stage, I do not thoughts ready 30 years to see its transformation.

Let’s not overlook that meals solely made its debut with the United Nations eventually yr’s Meals Programs Summit. Barely 14 months later, meals techniques considering has made its method into COP 27.

To grasp how, let me break down the completely different features of COP that happen on the similar time.

First, there are high-level negotiations the place heads of state, ministers, UNFCCC events and different delegations talk about the implementation of the Paris Settlement. For the primary time, a buying and selling day was fully dedicated to agriculture. Nevertheless, going past manufacturing to deal with emissions alongside the meals worth chain is at all times obligatory in these conversations, however it was a necessary first step.

Second, there’s the COP of facet occasions. Nations and organizations are internet hosting lots of of panels and workshops, making it really feel like an enormous, bustling international honest the place everyone seems to be discussing features of local weather motion.

This yr, meals was all over the place in these discussions. 5 occasion areas (“pavilions” in COP language) within the Blue Zone fully devoted to meals and agriculture. Many different pavilions have additionally included periods associated to meals and agriculture into their programming. Whereas what occurs in these facet occasions is primarily dialogue, these conversations are key to integrating meals techniques considering into mainstream local weather motion, alongside vitality, transport, buildings, and extra.

“It is big,” Deborah Bossio, senior meals techniques scientist on the Nature Conservancy, stated of the inclusion of meals and agriculture in these two features of COP 27.[It] acknowledges that with out transformations in meals techniques, which account for round a 3rd of world greenhouse fuel emissions and the overwhelming majority of biodiversity loss, we won’t be able to realize a steady local weather, feed folks and save biodiversity. »

Third, there’s the COP of conferences, hallway discussions and dinners the place folks from all organizations and international locations meet, strategize and kind partnerships. Once more, most of that is simply taking place in discussions on the summit, however there shall be plenty of follow-up and collaboration as soon as folks go dwelling. These casual encounters present a necessary sense of hope and togetherness that helps organizations align their efforts and keep energized in what can usually really feel like a sluggish and irritating transfer.

“Progress at all times begins with talks that then translate into motion. Sure, we’re not shifting quick sufficient, however on the similar time, we’re experiencing unstoppable coalition constructing to get issues performed,” stated Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and chief. President of EAT, one of many foundational organizations in accelerating meals techniques transformation in recent times.

Concrete steps in the direction of the transformation of meals techniques

Along with these successes in elevating consciousness of meals techniques and constructing coalitions, COP 27 additionally introduced necessary bulletins.

The Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation (FAST) goals to unlock local weather finance to decarbonise and improve the resilience of the meals and agriculture sectors, particularly on the planet’s most weak communities. The Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition (I-CAN) acknowledges the connection between vitamin and the local weather disaster – representing a big breakdown of silos between the meals, agriculture, local weather and vitamin clusters. He’ll work to information governments, monetary establishments and the meals business in the direction of frequent targets.

Curious to know what occurred on the COP? Discover all our reports on international negotiations.

Complementing these multilateral launches, an $18 trillion coalition of traders led by Jeremy Coller’s FAIRR initiative efficiently mobilized the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations (FAO) to ascertain a local weather roadmap for the meals and agriculture sector by the COP of the subsequent yr. It is going to define how business can keep on a 1.5°C trajectory, be local weather resilient, and obtain nature and meals safety targets.

The roadmap “will present much-needed readability for corporations and traders, permitting corporations to plan for the transition and traders to evaluate funding dangers and alternatives,” Coller stated, in keeping with a Press release. “Buyers will search the roadmap to incorporate clear steerage on methane emission limits, halting deforestation, scaling up manufacturing of other proteins and help to make sure a simply transition for farmers.”

Whereas the roadmap will assist present incentives, it is no excuse for inaction now, Helena Wright, Coverage Director on the FAIRR Initiative, advised me: “The science on the affect of meals system on nature and local weather is already clear, and corporations do not know it. have to attend for a roadmap to enhance their insurance policies.” I could not agree extra.

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