Day Four Round Up

In case you missed it…

The fifth day of the Climate Action Innovation Zone has been no less packed with content and speakers. 

The Agri-Food Systems Summit, in technical collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, brought together leaders to focus and collaborate on transforming the agri-food systems into sustainable and resilient future focused ones.

HRH Prince Jaime de bourbon de Parma, climate envoy, the Netherlands opened it and led the topic by saying ‘we must reinvent ourselves and produce and consume food more efficiently, food is both a cause and a victim of climate change’.

Other notable takeaways included a valid point from  Dr. Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and Executive Chair, EAT Forum who said ‘We need radical transformation of production and consumption, the whole supply chain of food, and we don’t have the luxury of time’. 

It was also stated by our expert panel of speakers that only 0.03 percent of climate finance reaches small holder farmers. The finance piece is the elephant in the room, good intentions are not enough. 

During the afternoon keynote address from Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture said that farming communities of all sizes have a role to play and that they can earn extra income by taking on innovative climate efforts. It is up to governments and business to create more opportunities for farmers by leveraging markets for their value-added goods. 

There is no quick silver bullet solution for transformation of agri food systems, support is needed from government, private finance, NGOs and civil society will take time but there is no time to waste, he added. Farmers are a critical component of the system, it is up to us to make sure they have the right tools to be so. 

The Island Stage on the Island of hope was saw the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, Commonwealth Secretary-General deliver a keynote where she spoke of her “desperate hope” that every commitment made at COP28 will be honoured, including the Loss & Damage Fund, stressing the need to ensure that finance actually reaches communities that need it.

She went on to say that: “The Island of Hope is a beacon for COP28. It symbolises our collective aspiration for a sustainable, resilient future. A future in which climate adaptation is not just a policy term but a lived experience of communities adapting their lives to a changing environment with dignity and hope.”

The Climate Action Stage looked at green hydrogen for net-zero transition, carbon removal strategies, boosting Africa’s energy access, fossil-fuel challenges in a net-zero world, and innovators navigating supply chains in a climate constrained context. With some of the key speakers today including Myles Allen, Professor of Geoscience, University of Oxford, Princess Noura bint Turki Al-Saud, Co-Founder, AEON Collective and Bradford Willis, Climate Champion for Green Hydrogen, High-Level Climate Champions Team. 

The sentiment was summed up by Marta Krupinska, CEO, CUR8 who said; “Rather than running away from conversations about risk we need to embrace them.” 

Key take-aways included recognition for the role of the corporate buyer of new technology and how this is essential to scaling the industry. Whilst it was also referenced how Africa has a unique opportunity to be part of the solution to decarbonisation.

Five energetic and hope-filled days of discussions on a wide range of topics from decarbonizing buildings to the role of bitcoin mining in the transition to clean energy focussed on turning ambition into action. Speakers from government, NGOs and business shared positive stories, exciting new technologies, and new ways of thinking about the challenges that lie ahead. The long and the short of it: we have the technology, now we need to act – and quickly.    

 “Let’s do what we can with what we have,” said Fiona Mugambi, Chief of Staff, Octavia Carbon. 

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