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Claim: ‘Climate change provokes urgent action on food systems everywhere’ – ‘It can no longer be a case of ‘business as usual’ when it comes to food production’

Agnes Kalibata is President of AGRA and former UN Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit; David Nabarro is Strategic Director of 4SD Foundation and adviser to Cop28.

For humanity, everywhere, usual food business is no longer an option.

Government representatives described their plans to incorporate action on climate and biodiversity within efforts to transform national food and water systems in ways that contribute to food and nutrition security for all and encourage the reliance of farmer livelihoods. Representatives of international organisations described how they will intensify collaboration to ensure intensified support for these national efforts. New multi-stakeholder partnerships for research, innovation and collective are being developed.  

In Europe the concerns are felt in higher food prices, and strained household budgets as a result of income poverty (which threatens more than 20 per cent of the population). In Sub-Saharan Africa, smallholder farmers whose communities depend on agriculture are bearing the brunt of record high temperatures and extreme weather events. 

In addition, modern food systems drive 90 per cent of deforestation and 60 per cent of biodiversity loss, and account for 70 per cent of the world’s use of fresh water.  They are also reliant on fossil fuels which are used for production of pesticides; synthetic fertilisers and plastics; and in processing, transport, distribution and cooking.  Overall, food systems contribute over one third of global greenhouse gas emissions.