Last month at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, the global message was clear: agriculture is a key solution to tackling climate change.
In Dubai, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and I showcased USDA’s unprecedented investments in climate-focused agricultural and forestry research, practices and partnerships with global leaders.
AIM for Climate at COP28
Front and center on this international stage was the United States and United Arab Emirates-led Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate). AIM for Climate seeks to simultaneously combat our global climate and hunger crises by uniting participants to significantly increase investment and support for climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation. In just one year, AIM for Climate partners more than doubled their investments from $8 billion announced at COP27 to more than $17 billion highlighted at COP28. Now, with more than 600 partners, including 55 countries, AIM for Climate is a global force for climate smart ag innovation.
During COP28, I had the pleasure of speaking at many AIM for Climate partner-hosted events. Reducing methane emissions was a primary theme throughout because this is the fastest way to reduce near-term warming and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. I joined an event hosted by AIM for Climate Innovation Sprint Partner Global Methane Hub, which mobilized $200 million in one year for the Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator—the largest, globally coordinated investment of breakthrough research tackling livestock methane emissions. This research is potentially game changing for the ag sector.
Science and Data Combat the Climate Crisis
USDA’s leadership in agricultural research and development to address climate change figured prominently throughout COP28, including at the NASA Hyperwall event. Here, USDA highlighted its efforts to put cutting-edge solutions into the hands of farmers around the world. One of these powerful resources is USDA's International Climate Hub, an online platform that connects users to agricultural science and tools to improve the world's ability to adapt to climate change and mitigate its impacts. During the event, I sat down with NASA’s Chief Scientist Dr. Katherine Calvin to discuss how USDA is partnering with NASA and others to transform agriculture to meet the needs of our complex world.
COP28 is in the books, and I am proud of USDA’s commitment to working with partners across sectors and countries to drive climate smart solutions for a brighter future.