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COP28 Spotlight: Transforming Food Systems for Climate Action

COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture
COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture

The COP28 conference in the UAE emphasized the critical role of food systems and agriculture in climate action, with more than 152 countries officially endorsing the Emirates Declaration on Agriculture, Food Systems, and Climate Action. The global food system contributes to one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, making it a key focus at the conference. Initiatives such as the Food4Climate Pavilion and the Climate4Food Pavilion brought together organizations advocating for the transformation of food systems. COP28 featured the first-ever Food Day, dedicated to discussions on cultivation, processing, distribution, consumption, and disposal. Additionally, the conference committed to serving two-thirds plant-based food, promoting sustainable choices.

Key Initiatives at COP28:

  1. Food4Climate Pavilion: Led by organizations like ProVeg International and World Animal Protection, this pavilion advocated for transforming food systems to benefit people, animals, and the planet. It aimed to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable diets and individual behavior change in transitioning food systems.

  2. First-Ever Food Day: A whole day at COP28 was dedicated to food systems, featuring the launch of a roadmap by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) outlining agrifood solutions for countries to meet their climate targets. The roadmap recommended reducing excessive meat consumption and improving livestock farming practices.

  3. Plant-Based Lifestyle: Responding to a campaign by YOUNGO and Food@COP, COP28 committed to serving two-thirds plant-based food. This commitment demonstrated the collective effort to foster a sustainable future for food. Plant-based food options were made accessible and showcased at the event, encouraging sustainable food choices.

  4. Farm to Fork Initiatives: The Expo City Farm, in partnership with Emirates BioFarm and Below Farms, offered an on-site farm experience to educate visitors about sustainable food production. Immersive cooking classes with plant-based chefs allowed participants to learn about sustainable cooking using locally grown produce, emphasizing the importance of minimizing food wastage.

By highlighting food systems and agriculture, COP28 aimed to address the environmental impact of food production and consumption. The initiatives underscored the need for public education, awareness, and collective action to create sustainable food systems. Despite progress, there is recognition that more efforts are required to fully integrate food-related discussions into climate action agendas.

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By- Sahiba Suri

By: Sahiba Suri