Funds raised for an initiative to develop more environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly agriculture have reached $13 billion, the United States and the United Arab Emirates announced on Monday.
The Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) initiative was launched in 2021 by the US and UAE. The fundraising target set at the time was $10 billion by this year’s conference of parties, COP28, to be held in late November in Dubai.
The sum raised so far thus exceeds that target.
“Climate change continues to impact long-standing agricultural practices in every country," US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a statement. "A strong global commitment is necessary to face the challenges of climate change head-on and build more sustainable, equitable and resilient food systems.”
Vilsack was one of the speakers at a summit on the initiative in Washington on Monday along with the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, Mariam Almheiri.
The Emirati minister welcomed the fact that, of the $13 billion, 10 billion came from governments, and three billion from the private sector.
Between a quarter and a third of greenhouse gas emissions are generated by the food system — from deforestation, to make room for crops, and methane emissions from livestock, to the energy associated with the supply chain and that used by consumers to store and prepare food.
At the same time, climate change threatens food security with more frequent weather disasters, such as heat waves or drought.
Current projects include the development of fertilisers that require less fossil fuel to produce, or a return to “regenerative agriculture,” capable of restoring soils and focused on biodiversity.
Tools relying on artificial intelligence are also being developed.
“Black, Native American, low-income farmers must also have access to these innovations,” former Vice President Al Gore said at the opening of the summit, whose participants include ministers from Australia, Britain, Europe, Kenya, Mexico and Panama.