Source: United Nations Climate Change
Governments and businesses joined farmers and local communities on Sunday 6 November at COP26, securing new agreements to protect nature and accelerate the shift to sustainable agriculture and land use practices by making them more attractive, accessible and affordable than unsustainable alternatives.
The end of week one of COP26 last Sunday saw negotiations gathering pace and work focusing on week two.
Twenty-six nations set out new commitments to change their agricultural policies to become more sustainable and less polluting, and to invest in the science needed for sustainable agriculture and for protecting food supplies against climate change, laid out in two ‘Action Agendas’. All continents were represented, with countries including India, Colombia, Vietnam, Germany, Ghana, and Australia.
Examples of national commitments aligned with this agenda included:
- Brazil’s plan to scale its ABC+ low carbon farming programme to 72m hectares, saving 1 billion tonnes of emissions by 2030
- Germany’s plans to lower emissions from land use by 25m tonnes by 2030
- The UK’s aim to engage 75% of farmers in low carbon practices by 2030
The UK also announced funding of GBP500-million to support the implementation of the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Roadmap that was launched during the World Leaders Summit in early November, in which 28 countries are working together to protect forests while promoting development and trade. A further GBP65-million will support a ‘Just Rural Transition’ to help developing countries shift policies and practices to more sustainable agriculture and food production.
Commitments made by countries will help to implement the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use which is now endorsed by 134 countries covering 91% of the world’s forests. The Declaration aims to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
COP26 President, Alok Sharma said:
“If we are to limit global warming and keep the goal of 1.5C alive, then the world needs to use land sustainably and put protection and restoration of nature at the heart of all we do.”
The World Bank will commit to spending USD25-billion in climate finance annually to 2025 through its Climate Action Plan, including a focus on agriculture and food systems.
In a show of similar commitment from the private sector, almost 100 high-profile companies from a range of sectors committed to becoming ‘Nature Positive’. Commitments include supermarkets pledging to cut their environmental impact across climate and nature-loss and fashion brands guaranteeing the traceability of their materials.
Representatives from Indigenous and local communities participated in events throughout nature day. As stewards of 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity, Indigenous Peoples are leaders in how to develop nature-based, resilient, and effective solutions to climate change.
Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use
- Launched on 2 November, 134 countries covering 91% of the world’s forests (including Brazil, China, Russia and Indonesia) have now endorsed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.