LONDON: US President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a major new joint agricultural initiative with the UAE and $4 billion in increased investment to accelerate innovation for climate-smart agriculture and food systems over the next five years.
The Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate was announced by the US president on the second day of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
The UAE, which has offered to host COP28, has pledged $1 billion of increased investment as part of this initiative, state-run news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.
“This is something we first proposed at my Leaders’ Summit on Climate,” said Biden, adding that they have been working on the initiative for the last six months “with more than 75 partners to catalyze public and private investment in climate-smart agriculture and food system innovation.”
Biden said: “Today, along with 75 partners, we’re going to launch a $4 billion initial investment globally and the United States is planning to mobilize $1 billion of that $4 billion over the next five years.”
Nearly 25 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and AIM for Climate partners are committing to significantly increase total investment in agricultural innovation by 2025 versus the 2020 baseline.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, the UAE’s envoy for climate change and minister of industry and advanced technology, said: “AIM for Climate is focusing on a sector that has been previously overlooked in terms of the opportunities it offers for global climate action.”
He said the UAE has invested over $17 billion in clean energy around the world, in an effort to promote green innovation and growth in the energy sector.
John Kerry, US envoy for climate, said innovation can reduce emissions, feed the world’s growing population, and help farmers and ranchers mitigate and adapt to climate change, adding that the initiative has had “an impressive start” and that together “partners can do more to catalyze even greater investment in the years ahead.”
Agricultural innovation R&D
UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri said that “when we consider that about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, and the world’s growing population is increasingly dependent on climate-vulnerable food production, we can see the urgency of driving investments in agricultural innovation and R&D.”
Almheiri added that the initiative is the kind of bold move “needed to accelerate the global food systems transformation that we need, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 2 and eradicate world hunger by 2030.”
AIM for Climate’s supporters include over 30 countries from six continents including the recent addition of Azerbaijan, Canada, and the UK, as well as numerous other non-governmental agencies.
“The climate crisis threatens to disrupt food systems around the globe, exacerbate food insecurity and negatively impact farmers’ livelihoods (and) we must invest in innovative, science-based solutions to help agriculture mitigate and adapt to climate change — and that’s what AIM for Climate is all about,” said US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.