Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, speaking during session on the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) at COP28 in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE and US joint fund to bolster agriculture against the adverse effects of climate change was doubled to $17 billion at COP28.

The AIM for Climate fund, initially launched at COP26 in Glasgow, witnessed a doubling of investments (from $8 billion at COP27) attributed to a $12 billion investment from government partner contributions. The fund received support from over 600 government and non-government partners.

The contributions came from various countries, including Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, the European Commission, Finland, Germany, and others.

Signifcant traction

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The significant traction gained by AIM for Climate is another step-in promoting climate-smart agriculture, driven by innovation and advanced technology, which is critical to strengthening productivity and building sectoral resilience.

The Minister said the climate conference was witnessing tremendous progress in transforming the global food and agricultural systems.

“The world has rallied together for the implementation of the ‘COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action’ with 139 nations endorsing it, in addition to support gained from non-state partners,” the Minister said.

The new investments and other announcements related to the fund’s growth was made by AIM for Climate co-leads US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and the UAE Minister for Climate Change on Friday. These announcements underpin AIM for Climate’s progress in significantly increasing investment in and other support for climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation over the period of 2021 to 2025.

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$5 billion from Innovation Sprints

Additionally, over $5 billion in investments came from Innovation Sprints — initiatives led and self-funded by partners to achieve expedited results in agricultural and food systems innovation.

There are now 78 Innovation Sprints in total, more than double what was announced at COP27, aligned with one or more of AIM for Climate’s Innovation Sprint focal areas. They are: smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries; emerging technologies; agroecological research; and methane reduction.

Those at the event emphasised the urgent need for innovative approaches in agriculture and food systems to confront the climate crisis.

Additionally, they highlighted the importance of investing in climate-smart agriculture and food systems, demonstrating how AIM for Climate partners and Innovation Sprints are driving innovation through new investments.