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The nexus between food systems and climate change



With the rapidly growing human population and increased demand for food, there’s no bigger threat to the future of our planet than overlooking our food systems- especially animal production as a culprit for climate change.

Together with other Civil Society Organizations from Africa, we aim to move Governments negotiating in the UNFCCC to acknowledge the nexus and critical role that food systems continue to play in contributing to climate change. Even if all fossil fuel emissions were immediately eliminated, food system emissions alone would jeopardise the 1.5ºC target and threaten the 2ºC target. Thus, the continued rise in the demand for meat must be addressed.

Over 26 CSOs who have endorsed the joint statement are demanding COP 27 and governments to put equal attention to transforming food systems in order to holistically tackle climate change. Specifically,

  • We call for the recognition of the critical role that African traditional food systems (small-scale farmers) play in sustainable and climate-smart agriculture that provides food and protects our environment and ensure a climate-safe future.
  • We call on the Global North to desist from exporting practices that are climate unfriendly, and African governments to discourage such entrenchment; and instead, promote inherent African traditional food systems that are built on principles of nutrient circularity and agroecology.
  • We call upon climate financiers to redirect much-needed finances to boost the indigenous small-scale farmers that play a critical role in providing affordable food and livelihood to the local communities
climate change

Our approach

As an Organization, our involvement in the UNFCCC is not an end in itself: it is a tactic to raise the profile of food farming - GHG emissions contributions and ultimately to gain commitments from Governments that could lead to action against intensive farming –this could be in the UNFCCC or in other forums.

This year, Egypt holds the COP27 Presidency and is responsible for driving the global process to reach agreements. The United Arab Emirates, as the COP28 hosts, will be key interlocuters. We aim to build influence and engage with each to identify and create pathways for our agenda on the COP agenda, and opportunities for awareness-raising events or activities.

We will create or work within existing formal or informal coalitions of civil society that endorse our asks and become ambassadors for them. We want to mainstream the discussion of a moratorium on factory farming first through existing civil society allies and then broader to civil society and climate groups in general.

We aim during 2022 and going forward to move Governments towards our asks through advocacy and public campaigning in coordination with allies. We also aim to give them a platform, either inside or outside the UNFCCC, to them in making their public statements on factory farming  and possibly work to encourage joint declarations between Governments as we go by.

To download the 'Joint Statement on the Nexus Between Climate Change and Animal Agriculture' click the button below.

Joint Statement

Isolated approaches to reduce emissions and deal with climate change will not suffice as we fail to acknowledge the contribution by food systems and animal production.