DUBAI (December 1, 2023) — Today at COP28, the UAE announced that 134 countries, covering 70% of the world’s land, have signed the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action, committing to integrate food into their climate plans by 2025. The declaration was signed by many countries with the highest food-related greenhouse gas emissions, including Brazil, China, the European Union, and the United States.

Following is a statement from Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO of World Resources Institute:   

“There’s perhaps no bigger area where the world’s injustices play out than in our food. While many in richer countries eat an excess of food, hundreds of millions of others are starving. And through this injustice we’re burning the planet: our food system causes at least one third of global emissions, which drives further droughts and floods that destroy farmers’ crops. The cycle is vicious.

“It’s a big deal that 134 countries today agreed to put food at the heart of their climate plans at the annual UN climate summit. The launch of this declaration is the moment when food truly comes of age in the climate process, sending a powerful signal to the nations of the world that we can only keep the 1.5 degree goal in sight if we act fast to shift the global food system in the direction of greater sustainability and resilience.

“This is an opportunity for countries to increase their ambition to protect and nurture fresh water when the linkages between water and food have never been more urgent. These plans must also ensure that everyone can access nutritious food, bolster people’s livelihoods, especially for smallholder farmers whom we depend on so much, and actively contribute to protecting and restoring nature.

“All countries must leave COP28 with a commitment to incorporate food and food systems fully into their next round of NDCs and arrive at COP29 and COP30 with real progress in hand. In the end, the Declaration’s success will be determined by whether countries follow through on these commitments with substantial policy reforms.”