The United States and the United Arab Emirates are seeking an additional $4 in worldwide investment for a program that the two countries had initiated last year aimed at making agriculture more resilient to climate change and at bringing down emissions resulting from agro activities, said reports quoting sources in the US government.
At the COP26 climate conference in November, the two countries announced the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate), which aims for a $4 billion investment from governments and non-government innovation partners between 2021 and 2025.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack told the media ahead of AIM’s inaugural ministerial meeting in Dubai on Monday that the group now seeks $8 billion in climate-smart investment commitments by the November COP27 climate negotiations in Egypt.
“We believe we actually need to set a higher goal. President Biden believes we should get $8 billion by COP27,” Vilsack said.
140 partners have promised to expand public and commercial funding in climate-smart agricultural research and practices as part of the effort.
The initial $4 billion target included $1 billion each from the United States and the United Arab Emirates governments, $1.8 billion from foreign governments, and $200 million from non-government partners.
The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced a $1 billion investment in climate-smart commodities pilot projects, encouraging low-emission farming, ranching, and forestry techniques.
According to Vilsack, the program might count toward the US AIM for Climate goals.
“There are a number of different ways those resources could be identified.”
The agricultural industry in the United States is already dealing with the repercussions of climate change, such as heightened drought and flooding.
The United Arab Emirates, an oil-producing country of the middle east that imports most of its food and desalinates saltwater for potable water, is aggressively investing in agricultural and water technologies, as well as clean energy.
In 2023, the UAE will host the COP28 climate negotiations.
“Agriculture and food systems offer immense opportunities for global climate action,” UAE Climate Change Minister Mariam al-Mheiri said in a statement.
According to Vilsack, IBM’s pro-bono Sustainability Accelerator will become one of AIM’s partners and will begin aiding smallholding farms in India in adopting climate-smart practices.
In the spring of 2023, Washington will host an AIM for Climate summit.
“We don’t have time to waste,” Vilsack said.
(Adapted from KhaleejTimes.com)