Kerry speaks with optimism about pioneering US-UAE food and agriculture plan

Aim for Climate, which will be launched at Cop26 in Glasgow this year, seeks to speed up research and development in the food production sector

US climate envoy John Kerry attends the Regional Climate Dialogue in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Courtesy Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change

US climate envoy John Kerry spoke of his optimism about a US-UAE-led plan to address food insecurity.

Aim for Climate seeks innovation in agriculture at a time when climate change threatens the stability of food production around the world.

The joint US-UAE plan was unveiled on Friday at US President Joe Biden's two-day gathering of 40 world leaders, where the aim was to get the biggest economies to cut emissions of planet-heating gases and keep rising temperatures under control.

“The United States is proud to be pioneering the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate initiative along with the United Arab Emirates and several other supportive partners," said Mr Kerry, who is US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

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I was impressed by the ingenuity being applied to food and climate challenges during my recent trip to the UAE, and know that we all stand to benefit by sharing best practices

"I was impressed by the ingenuity being applied to food and climate challenges during my recent trip to the UAE, and know that we all stand to benefit by sharing best practices and raising innovation ambition when it comes to climate-smart agriculture.

"Aim for Climate can serve as a unique platform for co-operation among many countries on these shared challenges."

Mr Kerry spent several days in Abu Dhabi this month and he joined a regional summit on climate change in the capital.

Aim was endorsed by United Kingdom's Cop 26 presidency, with support from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Israel, Singapore, and Uruguay.

It was launched with the agreement that climate change and the extreme weather events it has brought are a direct threat to global food security.

Natural disasters, storms, and floods have already wiped out crops and livestock that support millions of lives, particularly in the developing world.

Rising temperatures and extreme weather events already "undermine long-standing agricultural practices – threatening to damage the sector and keep millions of people in poverty", Mr Kerry's office added in the statement.

Aim for Climate will be advanced at the UN Food Systems Summit in September and launched at Cop26 in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

By Cop26 in November, Aim for Climate will:

1) Demonstrate collective commitment to investment in agricultural innovation and R&D for climate-smart food systems by its participants over the next five years;

2) Outline a framework to discuss and promote priorities across international and national levels of innovation, in order to amplify participants’ investments; and

3) Identify chief scientists as key focal points for international co-operation on climate-related agricultural R&D, drawing on their unique insights and equities across governmental bodies.

Aim for Climate will focus on, and promote co-ordination between, three main investment channels:

1) Scientific breakthroughs using basic agricultural research through national-level government agricultural R&D and academic research institutions;

2) Public and private applied innovation and R&D for development through support to international research centres, institutions, and laboratory networks;

3) Development and deployment of practical, actionable research and information to producers and other market participants, utilising national agricultural research extension systems.

John Kerry tours Abu Dhabi in climate visit – in pictures

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