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COP28: US-UAE climate-friendly farming effort grows to $17 billion

Published Dec 09, 2023 11:44AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People on horses ride past a soy plantation affected by a long drought that finally ended this month by the arrival of rain, is pictured in a farm in 25 de Mayo, in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina January 24, 2022. REUTERS/Agustin Mar
 
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By Leah Douglas and Simon Jessop

(Reuters) - Funding for a joint effort by the United States and United Arab Emirates to advance climate-friendly farming around the world has grown to more than $17 billion, the countries announced on Friday at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) was launched in 2021 at COP26 in Glasgow and its funding comes from governments, companies, and non-governmental organizations.

Globally, food and farming contribute about a third of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization.

Nearly 80 projects have been announced under the AIM for Climate initiative since 2021, with goals to expand agricultural research, implement sustainable farming practices, and reduce methane emissions.

"This partnership embodies our shared commitment to accelerating investments in transformative food systems and climate-smart agricultural innovations," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement.

Funding for the effort has grown from $13 billion in May, when the U.S. and UAE co-hosted an AIM for Climate summit in Washington, and from $8 billion at COP27.

The new total includes $12 billion from governments and $5 billion from non-government parties such as companies and humanitarian organizations, said an AIM for Climate spokesperson.

The 27 new projects announced at COP28 range in size from $500 million to $150,000.

Partners in one of the largest initiatives, aimed at expanding regenerative agriculture, include Bunge (NYSE:BG), Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), The Nature Conservancy and the Brazilian state of Para. Regenerative agriculture generally refers to practices like reduced tillage of cropland and lower pesticide use.

For the first time, agriculture is a major focus at this year's climate summit, with a full day on Dec. 10 dedicated to food and farming topics.

"We are witnessing tremendous progress in transforming the global food and agricultural systems at COP28," said UAE Minister for Climate and the Environment Mariam Almheiri in a statement.

Advocacy groups want the nations and companies in attendance to pledge to tackle agricultural methane emissions in particular, most of which is from livestock production.

(This story has been corrected to clarify the relationship between the partners in paragraph 9)

COP28: US-UAE climate-friendly farming effort grows to $17 billion
 

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