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Funding for US-UAE Farm Climate Project Grows to $13 Billion

Funding for US-UAE Farm Climate Project Grows to $13 Billion

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  • Partners have increased investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation to more than $13 billion over a 2020 baseline, exceeding the challenge by U.S. Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry at COP27 to achieve $10 billion by COP28
  • 21 new innovation sprints totaling an additional $1.8 billion in increased investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation
  • Launched at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021, AIM for Climate is co-led by the United Arab Emirates and the United States

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, co-host for the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) Summit, announced during the Summit’s opening plenary that AIM for Climate partners from around the globe are increasing investment in, and support for, climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation.

“Climate change continues to impact longstanding 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 Secretary Vilsack. “We need all of us working together to address the challenges of climate change and food security through innovative technology and approaches, and the AIM for Climate Summit gives me hope that we will rise to the occasion, as future generations depend on us to do.”

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Climate Change and Environment, reiterated that strengthening national and global food security through sustainable technology and innovation is one of the key strategic pillars of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051. Through this strategy, the country aims to elevate the entire food value chain and build a sustainable future for all.

“Under the vision and guidance of its wise leadership, the UAE is committed to building a solid foundation for international cooperation to find solutions to various challenges facing global food and agricultural systems within a larger framework aimed at addressing climate change and mitigating its negative impacts on the future of humanity. The AIM for Climate Initiative, launched in collaboration between the UAE and the United States, embodies this important approach, reflecting our commitment to transforming global agricultural systems into more advanced and sustainable systems to confront the scarcity of water and arable land in many countries, and thereby contributing to the eradication of hunger in the world,” said Minister Almheiri.

Launched at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021, AIM for Climate is co-led by the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Secretary Vilsack, Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Minister Almheiri shared the stage at the Summit’s opening.

See related article: USDA Invests Over $46M in Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

AIM for Climate Progress

Secretary Vilsack noted that the Summit is a pivotal moment to demonstrate AIM for Climate progress, as there is a global appetite to accelerate progress in meeting the challenges of global food and nutrition security and climate change. Secretary Vilsack announced new investments, partners, and resources to propel the initiative into COP28, including:

  • Increased Investment: Partners have increased investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation to more than $13 billion (over a 2020 baseline), exceeding the challenge by U.S. Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry at COP27 to achieve $10 billion by COP28.
  • Innovation Sprints: 21 new innovation sprints totaling an additional $1.8 billion in increased investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation, bringing the total number of innovation sprints to 51 (over $3 billion).
  • Partners: New partners including the governments of Argentina, Fiji, Guatemala, India, Panama, Paraguay and Sri Lanka, bringing the total number of government, innovation sprints, and knowledge partners to more than 500.

USDA Science and Research Strategy

Secretary Vilsack also announced the release of the “USDA Science and Research Strategy, 2023-2026: Cultivating Scientific Innovation (PDF, 25.5 MB)” during the opening plenary. This Strategy drives USDA’s science priorities for the next three years to establish a scientific framework to transform the U.S. food system and support our nation’s farmers, ranchers, producers, and foresters.

“We know that scientific innovation can enable new, cost-effective solutions for addressing some of our most daunting challenges,” said Secretary Vilsack. “This is a forward-looking Strategy that aligns with USDA’s strategic priorities and allows us to make significant advances in food, agriculture and natural resource sectors.”

The Strategy’s five science and research priorities include: Accelerating Innovative Technologies & Practices, Driving Climate-Smart Solutions, Bolstering Nutrition Security & Health, Cultivating Resilient Ecosystems, and Translating Research into Action. This cross-cutting strategy demonstrates how USDA science begins with innovation and moves across key priorities to address the obstacles we face in agriculture and ensure our research translates into real-world solutions to meet this moment.

International Climate Hub Launch

Building on the announcement at COP27 to launch an International Climate Hub based on the success of its domestic Climate Hubs, Secretary Vilsack announced the launch of the International Climate Hub website. This new portal will enable science-based, climate-informed agricultural decision making by providing information and resources tailored to specific regions and needs, including a focus on the countries and producers most vulnerable to the effects of global climate change.

A tool included in the International Climate Hub, the COMET-Planner Global Assessment Tool, will enable land managers around the world to estimate the current and potential greenhouse gas mitigation and carbon sequestration benefits of common agricultural conservation practices. This foundational tool leverages USDA’s and Colorado State University’s decade of experience building climate-smart conservation planning tools and will help measure and demonstrate the beneficial impacts of climate-smart conservation practices on working lands worldwide.

The Summit’s opening-day lunch session explored the potential impacts of climate change on the availability of popular foods, curated by former White House Chef Sam Kass. Diane Holdorf, Executive Vice President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development led a panel discussion with the CEOs of ADM, Gro Intelligence, PepsiCo, and Planet FWD on the role of agri-business in driving credible climate action for COP28.

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