COP28 kicks off a vital global conversation about food and its role in shaping the future of our planet
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Bezos Earth Fund today called for a greater focus and commitment to transforming our food systems as countries signed a declaration announced at COP28 to better integrate food into their climate goals. The Earth Fund announced $57 million in food-related grants to tackle the dual threats of climate change and biodiversity loss, as part of its $1 billion commitment to tackling the food system’s impact on climate and nature. It will allocate the remaining $850 million by 2030 to support ambitious implementation of the emerging global agenda on food systems and climate.
“We cannot afford for food to be on the sidelines of climate and nature conversations any longer. Food is a victim, problem, and solution in the climate and nature crises, and we must raise its profile in the discussion,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. “We applaud countries raising their ambitions, prioritizing food in their climate goals, and urge them to go bigger and bolder. We need to do things differently to feed a growing global population without degrading the planet and now is the moment for action.”
The Bezos Earth Fund with 16+ other philanthropies also signed and announced a new philanthropic statement of action, committed to invest, advocate, and partner to tackle food security and sustainability in alignment with the Paris Agreement goals.
Food systems — the way we produce, process, package, ship, eat, and waste — contribute one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet they are underfunded and too often overlooked in climate discussions.
The $57 million announced is part of the Earth Fund’s broader food portfolio, supporting a range of innovations spanning from developing low-cost virtual livestock fencing to promoting plant-rich diets and alternative proteins.
Making Livestock More Sustainable ($30 million)
Together with the Global Methane Hub’s Enteric Methane R+D Accelerator, the Earth Fund is investing in a range of innovations to reduce methane emissions from livestock by as much as 30% in the next 10-15 years. Additional grants provide funding to identify and develop low-methane feed, low-methane cattle breeding, and using a wearable sensor to measure cow methane emissions.
Protecting the Brazilian Amazon by Limiting Deforestation ($16.3 million)
Grants are supporting groundbreaking plans from the State of Pará in Brazil to reach zero-illegal deforestation within the next three years by creating the world’s largest animal traceability system. Together with The Nature Conservancy, IMAFLORA, Earth Innovation Institute, Aliança da Terra, and other partners, we can trace meat, dairy, and leather to eliminate deforestation from value chains, and bring about forest-positive incentives for cattle farmers and ranchers.
Promoting Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices ($8.3 million)
In partnership with the Earth Rover Program, the Bezos Earth Fund is building knowledge of soil ecosystems through seismology to assess the potential of soil to sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide. With the Platform for Agriculture and Climate Transformation (PACT), the Earth Fund is helping ensure U.S. federal funding to reduce farmland methane emissions reaches farmers and ranchers that adopt climate-friendly agricultural practices.
Catalyzing Food Systems Transformation ($2.6 million)
The Earth Fund is supporting efforts to tackle food loss and waste in partnership with the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), establishing an alliance of countries working to transform food systems. Additionally, working with the think-and-do-tank Clim-Eat, we are identifying and nurturing bold technological innovations in food systems and convening key actors to accelerate their development and deployment.
“At COP28, it’s time to turn pledges and commitments into action and funding for innovative food solutions and food systems transformation,” said Dr. Andy Jarvis, Director of Future of Food at the Bezos Earth Fund. “Food isn’t just having a moment in COP28 — it’s the start of real moment-um, and through the grants we are announcing we will deliver that.”
To learn more about the Earth Fund’s Future of Food work, click here.
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