COP28: Over 150 Countries Endorse UAE Declaration On Agriculture, Food Systems

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News in brief:
- At the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), over 152 countries committed to the COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food Systems, and Climate Action.
– The plan will address climate-related challenges in global food systems but concerns persist about the influence of oil lobbyists.

A significant milestone has been reached at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), barely two days to the end of the conference. Over 152 countries have committed to the COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food Systems, and Climate Action.

The declaration was announced by COP28 Food Systems Lead Mariam Almheiri during a high-level session focused on its implementation. She emphasised the significance of this moment as the attendees have really taken the time to listen, to connect the dots, and to get the political will to mobilise financing and even provide tools.

Also, they designated December 10 2023 was designated as Food, Agriculture, and Water Day at COP28. The day was set aside for addressing the climate-related challenges impacting global food systems. Key themes included scaling up regenerative agriculture, integrating water and food systems governance. Another theme includes fostering collaboration between governments, corporations, farmers, and producers.

Additionally, the urgency of addressing these challenges was underscored by Almheiri. She highlighted the devastating impact of climate change on the agriculture sector. Ms. Almheiri added that ‘extreme weather events like droughts, floods, and heat waves have strained food systems significantly. She noted that this was especially so across climate-vulnerable regions.’

Meantime, several concrete actions and commitments emerged from the Food, Agriculture, and Water Day events. These include the first ever COP ministerial dialogue on building water-resilient food systems, the prioritisation of interlinked water, food efforts by 15 countries, the participation of 43 countries in freshwater challenge, the announcement of support packages for farmers by international institutions and the launch of the alliance of champions on food systems transformation.

In addition to the specific commitments related to food and agriculture, over $83.7 billion has been pledged at COP28 to support climate action globally. The breakdown of the sum shows that $780 million will go to new loss and damage fund, $134 million will be assigned to adaptation, $129 million to least developed countries fund, $8.7 billion to lives and livelihoods, and $6.8 billion towards energy.

While significant progress has been made at COP28, challenges remain. Concerns have been raised regarding the wording in the ongoing negotiation texts. Particular emphasis has been made regarding the perceived influence of oil lobbyists. Stakeholders say that harmonizing these texts and addressing these concerns is crucial. This they say ensures that COP28 delivers meaningful outcomes for the climate and global food systems.

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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