Cop28 Presidency takes action to help farmers affected by climate change

Group launched to help countries - particularly those most vulnerable - promote sustainable agriculture

Ensuring more sustainable ways of farming is an important goal for Cop28. Photo: Getty Images
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An environmental task force to help farmers around the world address critical climate challenges has been set up by the UAE-led Cop28 Presidency.

It is part of efforts to achieve the goals of the milestone declaration on sustainable agriculture, made during the Cop28 UN climate summit in Dubai last year.

The Cop28 Presidency on Monday said the technical group would help countries switch to more sustainable ways of farming and ensure resilient food systems are at the heart of their national climate action plans.

It is envisaged the group – known as the technical co-operation collaborative – will particularly assist developing and climate vulnerable countries in this transformation.

The announcement was made in Bonn, Germany, at the start of crucial climate talks.

“Cop28 delivered the strongest political signal to date on climate, food and agriculture,” said Adnan Amin, chief executive of Cop28.

Mr Amin said countries agreed there was “no path” to keeping the key 1.5°C climate target within reach “without addressing the interactions between food systems, agriculture and climate”.

“Countries must now make good on the promises made at Cop28 and develop climate plans which deliver action for food, families and future generations,” he said.

Global pledge

The Cop28 declaration on sustainable agriculture, resilient food systems and climate action has been endorsed by 159 countries, accounting for more than 80 per cent of agricultural-based gross domestic product, 70 per cent of the world’s farmers, and 80 per cent of emissions from agriculture.

It aims to place food and agriculture at the heart of the climate agenda and, crucially, protect the lives and livelihoods of farmers living on the front lines of the climate crisis. And it underlined the path to meeting the key 1.5ºC climate target needed to involve agriculture.

Warming emissions from agriculture account for about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions with farming also contributing in places to land degradation.

The Cop28 Presidency said the launch of the group marked a “significant milestone” in advancing the declaration’s intention to adapt and transform agriculture and food systems to address climate change challenges and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement that first set out the 1.5ºC goal in 2015.

Plans for the technical group were first announced at Cop28 and countries are now being helped to update their climate action plans – known formally as nationally determined contributions – to include food systems.

The founding members of the technical group include the Cop28 Presidency, Italy, the US, the UK, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN and other key entities from around the globe.

Climate plans take shape

In the next few months, they will start to work on requests from countries to achieve their goals.

A review of progress will take place at Cop29 in Azerbaijan this November with the goal of achieving major progress by Cop30 in Brazil next year.

The move underlines efforts by the UAE Cop28 Presidency to keep the momentum since the summit. It has launched a major partnership with the next two hosts of the climate conference, Azerbaijan and Brazil.

The Cop presidencies troika aims to boost co-operation and ensure continuity between the hosts of the annual climate talks in what is being called “mission 1.5ºC”.

The Bonn Climate Change Conference, meanwhile got under way on Monday with the UN calling for “serious progress” in finance.

The crucial talks run from June 3 to June 13 and allow countries to prepare for Cop29.

Cop28 saw countries agree to “transition away” from fossil fuels in global energy systems in a historic decision dubbed the “UAE Consensus”.

Now, the question of how to fund this transition is expected to feature prominently at the next climate summit.

Simon Stiell, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said countries “cannot afford to stumble” during two weeks of talks in Bonn, Germany.

“We must make serious progress on finance, the great enabler of climate action,” Mr Stiell said his opening speech in Bonn.

“I urge you to move from zero-draft to real options for a new collective quantified goal on climate finance.

“We cannot afford to reach Baku with too much work still to do. So, please, make every hour here count.”

Updated: June 04, 2024, 11:58 AM