Funding for a UAE-US-led initiative to advance climate-friendly farming practices has grown to more than $13 billion, passing the $10 billion target set for Cop28, a US official said on Monday.
The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate, or Aim for Climate, was launched in 2021 and had achieved commitments of $8 billion by last November.
“Climate change continues to impact long-standing agricultural practices in every country and a strong global commitment is necessary to face the challenges of climate change head on and build more sustainable, equitable and resilient food systems,” said US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who is co-hosting this week's Aim for Climate summit in Washington.
He announced the latest funding figures alongside Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister for Climate and the Environment, and former US vice president Al Gore.
The UAE is hosting the Cop28 climate change conference this November.
“We will make sure that Cop28 will be a game-changer for food systems,” Ms Al Mheiri said.
About $10 billion of the $13 billion investment has come from governments. The rest is from parties funding initiatives to support smallholder farmers, emerging technologies and methane reduction, a US Department of Agriculture representative said.
Ms Al Mheiri said that strengthening national and global food security through sustainable technology and innovation was one of the key pillars of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051.
“We know the numbers we know our food systems are broken,” she said. “We know there's lots to do on eradicating hunger. There's lots to do on enhancing global food security and to slash emissions when it comes to climate change.”
She reiterated the UAE's commitment to building a “solid foundation for international co-operation” to find solutions to various challenges facing global food and agricultural systems.
The UAE, she said, wants to continue to be food secure in the future.
“How can we waste less food? How can we have better nutrition?” she asked.
“How can we make sure that the next generation has the skills and the capacity to be able to look at growing food in harsh desert environments?”
Aim for Climate seeks to unite nations to cut agricultural emissions, which account for about 10 per cent to 12 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as livestock manure, machinery and fertiliser application, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Reuters contributed to this report