Food Systems & Climate at UNFCCC COPs

Food Systems are a key part of the Conference of Parties (CoP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) following significant advocacy from many stakeholders. Below are some key files for 2023 and 2022. There is more detail on the UNFCCC website under ‘Agriculture and Food Security”.

YOU can endorse the Call to Action (as a person or organization) and submit your statement of action which you will report on annually. The call is to transform our food systems into one that is resilient, fair, and sustainable is echoing louder than ever. The UN Climate Change High-Level Champions (HLCs) have collaborated with Non-State Actors – from farmers and fishers to businesses, cities, civil society, consumers and all those engaged in food systems – to develop a Non-State Actors Call to Action for Transforming Food Systems for People, Nature, and Climate. The Call to Action mobilizes collective efforts around a shared vision of food systems that deliver significant, measurable progress for people, nature, and climate by 2030. Through this shared agenda, they aim to scale action, raise ambition, and unlock the potential of food systems as one of the main solutions for people, nature, and climate. All of us have a role to play.

Reason for the Joint Call to Action: Food is essential to life on earth. It provides us with vital nutrients for health and wellbeing, and connects us to our families, communities, cultures, and the natural world. Today, food systems face unprecedented and accelerating challenges, but they also have enormous potential to be part of the solution, safeguarding food and nutrition security and creating more inclusive, equitable and prosperous economies and societies. Currently, food systems contribute to and are affected by nature and biodiversity loss, climate change, and conflict. Global food and agriculture as a whole is responsible for more than one third of greenhouse gas emissions, up to 70 percent of freshwater use, and as much as 80 percent of biodiversity loss. Unsustainable food systems undermine food and nutrition security and threaten the livelihoods of frontline food systems actors. While 30 percent of food is lost or wasted, over 900 million people are food insecure, many of whom work in agriculture, and over 3 billion cannot afford a healthy diet. As recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and extreme weather events reveal, the vulnerabilities of our food systems to external shocks are clear.

This is an activity of the Climate Champions that are ‘Racing to Zero“. Race to Zero is a global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial, educational, and healthcare institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer, net zero world. Since June 2020, over 13,000 members have joined the campaign.

The CRFS Alliance was borne out of the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021, and UNFCCC is the lead coordinator for the alliance. The alliance aims to achieve climate resiliency in food systems worldwide and especially in the most vulnerable environments such as arid and semi – arid lands (ASALs), small islands developing states (SIDS), land locked developing countries (LLDCs), least developed countries (LDCs), by bringing together better integrated climate and food action. The alliance comprises 13 core group organizations, 27 leadership group partnerships, and 17 countries who have officially endorsed the
Alliance. The objective is to accelerate support to Member States towards climate resilient, sustainable, equitable and inclusive food systems in a coherent manner.

The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) took place in Sharm el Sheikh/Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022. The hosting continent grapples with worsening climate, food, energy, and socio-economic impacts following the compounding effects of COVID-19 effects. For COP to be a turning point in addressing global climate impacts and achieving the true meaning of climate justice for the most vulnerable continents, rich countries will have to ramp up their ambitions. CIDSE wrote the policy briefing on climate justice based on the latest climate science, Catholic Social Teaching, their analysis on achieving 1.5°C, transitioning to renewable energy systems and agroecology, as well as the joint, participatory process of the African Climate Dialogues Recommendations and policy demands are organised around the following key topics: 
– Loss and Damage
– Mitigation
– Climate finance
– Climate, agriculture and food systems (the section is key for D-Ns!).

updated 2023 November

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