Technology, finance essential for adapting food, agriculture sector to climate change: Mohieldin

Ahram Online , Monday 23 Jan 2023

Technology and finance are key elements for adapting food and agriculture to climate change, thus achieving food security, stressed the UN Climate Change High Level Champion Mahmoud Mohieldin on Monday.

Energy and Food
File Photo: Farmland is seen with solar panels from Cypress Creek Renewables, Oct. 28, 2021. AP



Mohilendin's remarks came during his  participation in the annual regional meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Office for the Near East and North Africa

The global food and agriculture sector has been affected by successive crises, Mohieldin said, namely Covid-19 and the ongoing geopolitical crisis, he added.

This resulted in declining food security and a rising in relevant sectors' need to adapt to the negative effects of climate change, he asserted.

The climate champion explained that providing scientific and technological solutions concurrently with the required funding is necessary to achieve adaptation, particularly in the  food and agriculture sector.

He stated that the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, launched at the UN Climate Change Conference of 2022 (COP27), proposed "obvious" mechanisms and financing methods that need to be activated for adapting the food and agriculture sector to climate change.

In addition, Mohieldin referred to the importance of the FAST initiative, launched also during  COP27, for a sustainable transition that boosts the work in this "vital" sector

The global financing system should be restructured to achieve adequate and equitable attention to the countries and societies most affected by global crises and whose resources have been strained by these crises, he asserted.

 The availability of accurate and up-to-date data on the economic conditions of countries and societies is very important in this regard, Mohieldin further affirmed. .

The climate champion highlighted that international financial organisations need to adopt concessional financing systems in their financing of climate action to middle and low-income countries, noting that the interest rate that relevant organisations and development banks charge must not exceed 1 percent.

Long-term grace and repayment periods are also crucial, he added.  

Financing food and agriculture systems in developing countries and emerging markets should come in the form of investments. Furthermore, debt reduction mechanisms and debt saps should be activated for debtors that invest in nature and climate.  

The UN special envoy on financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda explained that the projects launched by the Egyptian government , such as National Initiative for Smart Green Projects, as well as projects launched by Egypt's conference presidency at COP27 have created a distinguished set of environment and climate projects. These include five regional roundtables initiative inaugurated in cooperation with the UN's regional economic commissions as well as Climate Change High Level Champions.  

A number of these roundtables relate to the adaptation of food and agriculture, said Mohieldin.

He further stressed the importance of the participation of the private sector in financing adaptation measures to allow the progress of climate action as a whole and the achievement of desired goals.

David Nabarro, WHO Envoy on Coronavirus, Maximo Torrero, Chief Economist at FAO, and a number of officials of FAO regional offices also participated in FAO annual regional meeting .



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