India joins US-UAE's AIM for Climate food initiative

Campaign to invest in smart agriculture was launched by US President Biden at Cop26 in Glasgow

Dammu Ravi from India's Ministry of Affairs pictured with representatives from Israel, US and the UAE. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
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India will join the US and the UAE mission to protect food production against climate change.

At a meeting in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, India pledged its support for the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate).

US President Joe Biden set out the initiative at Cop26 in Glasgow, Scotland, to find new ways to safeguard food production amid global warming and ecological disasters that devastate crops.

At least $8 billion in investment has been pledged so far by a coalition of more than 40 countries. Wednesday's announcement was made at the first meeting of the I2U2 quartet of US, UAE, Israel and India, and ahead of Cop28 in Dubai.

“The UAE welcomes the announcement by India that it will join the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate," said Ahmed Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State.

"Through collaboration in the I2U2 and AIM platforms, India, Israel, the UAE, and US are now in a unique position to stimulate critical investment in climate-smart agriculture and resilient food systems that will withstand challenges facing the international community."

Mr Al Sayegh, Jose Fernandez, from the US Department of State, Dammu Ravi, secretary at India's Ministry of External Affairs and Ronen Levi, from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were present.

Funds will go towards projects that can mitigate climate change, prepare for its effects and help to lift people out of poverty.

Aim for Climate seeks to support small-scale farmers, especially women, and communities in lower-income countries most susceptible to the world's changing climate.

It includes investment to boost the use of vertical farming, hydroponics and aquaculture. The UAE has ploughed hundreds of millions of dollars into local companies to grow crops in one of the world's most arid nations.

"As it prepares to host Cop28 in November, the most inclusive Cop yet focused on engaging the Global South — the UAE looks forward to working with like-minded partners committed to accelerating urgent progress in combating climate change and securing food supply chains for generations to come," Mr Al Sayegh added.

The I2U2 partnership is focused on economic cooperation between members across seven sectors; food security, water, energy, space, transportation, health, and technology.

Wednesday's forum concluded with presentations on two major initiatives currently explored under I2U2, including a possible $2 billion investment in a project to build a series of integrated agricultural facilities across India and the potential development of a 300-megawatt wind and solar hybrid power plant in the Indian state of Gujarat.

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Updated: February 22, 2023, 12:34 PM