Mariam Almheiri calls on global leaders to unleash potential of food systems in fight against climate change


Today, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and COP28 Food Systems Lead, addressed the Global Food Security Summit in London, where she called on global leaders to find the will to work collectively and creatively to unleash the potential of food systems in the fight against climate change.

The Summit held in partnership between the UAE, the UK and Somalia, and sponsored by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, saw the United Kingdom show strong support for the COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda, including their endorsement of the Emirates Declaration on Resilient Food Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, and Climate Action.

The Declaration commits nations to putting climate action at the heart of their food systems by aligning their national food systems and agricultural strategies with their Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plans and National Biodiversity Strategies.

The Declaration forms part
of the first of four pillar’s that make up the COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda – galvanizing national leadership; involving non-state actors; boosting innovation; and scaling up finance.

Her Excellency said: ‘What we are seeing unfold around the global is a devastating cycle of escalating climate threats that can be avoided, but only if we show the resolve to make a difference and walk the talk’.

‘I am delighted that the United Kingdom supporting Emirates Declaration on Resilient Food Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, and Climate Action. It is only through collective action can we make a substantial change and protect our planet and people’.

In her opening remarks in the presence of dignitaries including Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia, Almheiri stressed as hosts of COP28 in just 10 days’ time the UAE intends to ‘build on top of the momentum of action for the food and climate agenda which was firmly set on course by the United Kin
gdom at COP26 and then accelerated and further accentuated by Egypt at COP27’. She outlined through its COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture Agenda the UAE will elevate the food systems debate and ‘place it at the very heart of the Presidential Action Agenda’.

Looking ahead to COP28 in 10 days’ time, the minister added, ‘The program of the COP28 Presidency begins with a high-level session on Food and Climate. Every day thereafter includes at least one Presidency-hosted event related to agriculture and food systems, with the program reaching a crescendo on December 10th, before the Parties move on to the final negotiations on December 11th and 12th, we are marking a day dedicated to food, agriculture, and water’.

The minister stressed: ‘Our goal is to highlight the severe pressure and risks that climate change puts on food, agricultural and water systems, which are pivotal to human well-being. At the dedicated day to food, agriculture, and water at COP28, we will reiterate both the challenge and the opportunit
y presented by food systems and their interactions with our precious planet.’

Later in the afternoon Her Excellency also opened a series of panel discussions on ‘Building a climate resilient and sustainable agriculture sector and Food System’. She spoke about the importance of innovation, technology, and finance in transforming our food systems and creating a more sustainable world.

The minister detailed the key milestones in UAE’s climate journey to date such as the Cabinet’s recent approval of the Net Zero 2050 Strategy that outlines mechanisms to achieve zero emissions in the UAE across all core sectors, including agriculture, as well as the UAE’s Third Update to its Second Nationally Determined Contribution, the third in three years.

She stated: ‘By progressively raising ambition we are making real change in our green transformation. It is through the wise direction of the UAE’s leadership that we are able to take bold and deceive steps towards Net Zero and a greener future’.

Source: Emirates News A
gency (WAM)