Published: Fri, 25 November 2022
MEP for Ireland South, Seán Kelly MEP travelled to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt to attend the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, as part of a delegation representing the European Parliament.
Agricultural initiatives emerged one of the top priorities of the conference as representatives focused on how to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis. Scaling up climate finance proved to be at the heart of discussion for solutions.
Kelly highlighted that successful launch of the Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation (FAST) Initiative, stating that“small-scale farmers from developing countries produce roughly one third of the world’s agrifood products, yet they receive under 2% of climate financing. This is deeply unfair given that they are the most effected by climate change.”
Another positive outcome from the conference acknowledged by Kelly was the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM), including Climate’s investment of $8 billion to climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation.
“This investment is up by $4billion from COP26 and these funds will be pivotal in fast tracking the shift towards sustainable agriculture. The doubled investment highlights the urgency of where we are in the climate crisis.”
Kelly also welcomed Ireland being one of 13 countries to endorse the Agriculture Breakthrough at this year’s COP.
“Addressing challenges in agriculture is part of COP’s ‘Breakthrough Agenda’- a package of 25 new collaborative actions to accelerate decarbonization under five key breakthroughs of power, road transport, steel, hydrogen and agriculture. The purpose of the Agriculture Breakthrough is to make climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture the standard practice by 2030.”
“Agriculture and the agrifood sectors are an essential part of the solution to climate change, but in order to get there we need to empower and support farmers. This starts at home and in Ireland we must make sure that farmers can secure extra avenues of income for activities that will aid the energy transition, such as biogas production and selling excess solar energy generation back to the grid. The sector is under pressure to reduce emissions, so lets help them to make sure they can without sacrificing their livelihood.”