Agriculture Takes Center Stage In Climate Action As FAO Urges Transformation

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News in brief:
– FAO emphasises the crucial role agriculture must play in addressing climate change and ensuring global food security, especially in the face of record-breaking temperatures in 2023.
– A director at the organisation highlights the potential for farms to contribute to positive climate action, envisioning them as renewable energy generators.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has emphasised the critical role agriculture must play in combating climate change while ensuring global food security in reaction to continued rise in global temperatures.

The call to action comes after 2023 was confirmed as the hottest year on record. FAO’s office director of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment, Kaveh Zahedi, warns that humans cannot afford to be numb to these record-breaking temperatures.

He explained that the events have profound implications like increasing the frequency of extreme weather events, wildfires, droughts, floods, and more. Also, while these affect everyone, farmers who are on the front lines, are especially at risk, according to the FAO director.

Since agricultural systems contribute roughly one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, experts like Zahedi believe they hold immense potential for positive climate action. He envisions a future where farms become not just food producers, but also renewable energy generators.

Furthermore, he explained that farms can harness solar and wind power for greenhouses, irrigation, and even share with the grid. He proffered energy-smart agriculture as a means to tackle temperature challenges and declared that these approaches are precisely what the FAO is working on with governments of various countries.

Meantime, momentum for this agricultural transformation gained traction at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. About 137 countries endorsed the summit’s Declaration on Agriculture, Food, & Climate. A $3.5 billion pledge was made to replenish the Green Climate Fund which supports developing nations in adapting to climate change, while implementing sustainable practices.

Highlighting further, Zahedi explained that nearly $1.5 billion of this funding has already been utilised. He said the funds helped to bring land and sea under sustainable management, and it has resulted in over 100 million hectares of land transitioning to sustainable practices. Additionally, it has also led to over 500 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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