Fund for more climate-resilient farming hits $13bn

9 May 2023

A global fund first set up in 2021 to promote more environmentally resilient farming practices has smashed its original target, to reach $13 billion, it was announced this week.

The Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate fund – led by the US and the United Arab Emirates – was created less than two years ago.

The goal was to reach $10 billion by the time the COP28 climate talks start in Dubai, UAE, at the end of November. But this latest announcement means more projects can be started sooner.

Speaking at an AIM for Climate Summit in Washington this week, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, the UAE’s climate change and environment minister, said: “The beauty of this [new fund level being reached] is that of the $13 billion, $10 billion comes from government and three billion is from the private sector."

Strengthening national and global food security through sustainable technology and innovation is one of the strategic pillars of the UAE’s national food security strategy 2051, according to the minister.

“The UAE is committed to building a solid foundation for international cooperation to find solutions to various challenges facing global food and agricultural systems within a larger framework aimed at addressing climate change and mitigating its negative impacts on the future of humanity,” she said.

“The AIM for Climate Initiative, launched in collaboration between the UAE and the United States, embodies this important approach, reflecting our commitment to transforming global agricultural systems into more advanced and sustainable systems.”

Around 25-33% of all global greenhouse gases derive from food systems, and so the fund, and the initiatives it supports, is seen as a vital part of limiting the food sector’s contribution to climate change.

Pilot projects already funded by AIM include developing “greener” fertisers produced with less energy from fossil fuels, and bolstering "regenerative agriculture" practices that restore soil biodiversity.

Commenting on the funding level reached, US secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack added: “Climate change continues to impact longstanding agricultural practices in every country and a strong global commitment is necessary to face the challenges of climate change head-on.”

He added: “Through innovative technology and approaches, the AIM for Climate Summit gives me hope that we will rise to the occasion, as future generations depend on us to do.”

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