Food system conversations at this year’s COP28 UN climate summit kicked off with an announcement on the ‘COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action’. A declaration whereby endorsers agree to help strengthen food systems by building resilience to climate change, reducing global emissions, and contributing to the global fight against hunger.
While not legally binding, more than 159 countries signed the declaration by the end of conference, signalling their commitment to incorporating food into their national climate plans by COP30 in 2025. Notable signatories included some of the highest food-related greenhouse gas emitters, such as Brazil, China the EU and the United States.
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment and COP28 lead on food systems, said “countries must put food systems and agriculture at the heart of their climate ambitions, addressing both global emissions and protecting the lives and livelihoods of farmers living on the frontline of climate change”.
The declaration was one of the lead stories from COP28 and sent a strong signal that food is finally apart of the climate process and that the 1.5-degree goal can only be kept in sight if we transform the global food system for the better.