The COP-28 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai—items
I’m trying to make sense of it. For starters, the irony:
- A climate-change conference in an oil-rich state
- The head of the conference publicly states “there is ‘no science’ behind demands for phase-out of fossil fuels.”
- Lots of people fly there in carbon-emitting private jets
But food—the effects of agriculture on climate change (and vice versa) is on its agenda this year—a major big deal.
Here’s my collection of food-related items.
I. Food Tank’s Danielle Nierenberg is on the job: more than 30 Food Tank partnered events are scheduled.
Once again, four pavilions will be devoted to food systems: Food and Agriculture, led by our partners and friends at FAO, CGIAR, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and The Rockefeller Foundation; Food Systems, spearheaded by the European Union-backed program EIT Food and a variety of other groups including the Food and Land Use Coalition; Food4Climate, organized by a variety of partners—including youth voices—pushing for a more humane and sustainable food system; and the Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas Pavilion facilitated by IICA, bringing together the global north and south across the hemisphere. You can read Food Tank’s coverage of the roadmap, which was announced last year, here.
II. FoodDive: Food system transformation on the menu at COP28
IV. The lunch menu: The summit is featuries roughly two-thirds plant-based menu to highlight the link between greenhouse gas emissions and livestock. But the meat industry is fighting back.
VI. The Guardian: Plans to present meat as ‘sustainable nutrition’ at Cop28 revealed: Documents show industry intends to go ‘full force’ in arguing meat is beneficial to the environment at climate summit.
VII. The Meat Institute
The Meat Institute and the Protein PACT for the People, Animals & Climate of Tomorrow will highlight animal agriculture’s commitments and progress toward global goals in multiple high-level engagements at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai November 30-December 12. The Protein PACT has organized or assisted with inviting expert speakers for six panels across five COP28 pavilions, including:
- December 5 panel in the Food Pavilion, co-organized by IICA and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on the topic of sustainable and healthy livestock production systems
- December 6 panel in the IICA pavilion, organized by the Canadian Alliance for Net-Zero Agri-food on the topic of achieving net zero in agrifood systems
- December 8 panel in the IICA pavilion, organized by the Protein PACT on the topic of principles, practices, and proof for animal agriculture driving climate and food security solutions
- December 9 panel in the IICA pavilion, co-organized by IICA and ILRI on the topic of innovation and investment in livestock systems for climate change adaptation and mitigation
VIII. International Dairy Federation & European Dairy Association side event: How Animal Source Food Nourishes The World In Times of Climate Change.
X. Food Navigator: on The Emirates Declaration. Food is finally at the top table but measurable targets are missing. Over 130 prime ministers and presidents have today signed the Emirates Declaration at COP28 – a first of its kind commitment to adapt and ‘transform’ food systems as part of action on the climate crisis…. Read more
Comment: The Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action is the firsr statement out of this meeting. It doesn’t mention fossil fuels (the elephant in this particular room) or meat. But it does propose:
1. Financial and technical support for sustainable solutions, capacity building, infrastructure, and innovations for farmers, fisherfolk, and other food producers.while conserving, protecting and restoring nature.
2. Promoting food security and nutrition.
3. Supporting workers in agriculture and food systems whose livelihoods are threatened by climate change.
4. Strengthening water management .
5. Conserving, protecting and restoring land and natural ecosystems, enhancing soil health, and biodiversity, and shifting from higher greenhouse
gas-emitting practices to more sustainable production and consumption approaches, including by reducing food loss and waste and promoting sustainable aquatic blue foods.
As for how and when?
To achieve these aims – according to our own national circumstances – we commit to expedite the integration of agriculture and food systems into our climate action and, simultaneously, to mainstream climate action across our policy agendas and actions related to agriculture and food
In the meantime, consider these:
- New York Times: Airlines Race Toward a Future of Powering Their Jets With Corn: Carriers want to replace jet fuel with ethanol to fight global warming. That would require lots of corn, and lots of water.
- FERN’s Ag Insider: Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture grew 14 percent in 20 years.
What will it take to stop the impending disaster? This has to be #1 on the advocacy agenda.