U.S. Agriculture Shows its Importance at COP 28

Agriculture had a moment in the limelight at COP 28. This year, the climate change conference in Dubai hosted more than 200 nations with the goal to work on climate change. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was there and says there was a milestone declaration for agriculture and 152 countries signed on.

A declaration that outlines the steps that need to be taken in order to ensure that we can produce the food necessary to meet the nutritional needs of the world now and in the future in in light of a changing climate and the challenges that it presents

Vilsack adds it looks to the future.

Excited about this declaration because it lays out a series of commitments and directions that I think are very, very consistent with what the United States Department of Agriculture, the Biden-Harris Administration and the United States’ farmers and ranchers have been engaged in.

A big change from the last COP where Vilsack says US agriculture had to argue for its work on climate change.

In this COP, we flipped the script for American agriculture.

And COP 28 devoted a full day to how food and agriculture impacts climate change.

There was no need for us to be defensive, but in fact, we could articulate proactive leadership in the climate space leadership that I think reflected in a number of opportunities for us to showcase what US farmers and ranchers are doing in a variety of ways to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.

One of the showcased ideas is the AIM for Climate initiative launched by the US and Arab Emirates and COP 26. Vilsack says its goal is to look for innovation Sprint’s in adaptation and mitigation strategies to prevent climate change.

To encourage investment and to encourage acceleration of these innovations into the marketplace to help farmers worldwide. We started with a handful of countries and a few partners, and a handful of innovation sprints. We were pleased to announce that in this COP we had reached over 600 partners.

Involving $17 billion in commitments to investing in AIM for Climate initiative projects, double the amount of last year in that time, the number of innovation sprints nearly tripled to 78. Vilsack also says they showcase the international climate hub introduced last spring.

This international climate hub provides information available about the innovation sprints but also, it’s beginning to showcase some of the tools that have been developed by USDA and made available on the international climate hub.