A global collaboration to improve food systems through agriculture research was announced at President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate.
Called the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate it’s due to be discussed at the UN Food Systems Summit in September, then formally launched at COP26 in November.
“The United States is proud to be pioneering the initiative along with the United Arab Emirates and several other supportive partners,” said US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
“I was impressed by the ingenuity being applied to food and climate challenges during my recent trip to the UAE.
“We all stand to benefit by raising ambition when it comes to climate-smart agriculture.”
The project is being supported by the United Kingdom’s COP 26 Presidency, Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Israel, Singapore, and Uruguay.
The areas of focus will be improved sustainable productivity; efficient use of land, water and carbon; resilient crop and livestock production; better digital tools; and fair sustainable food systems.
Biden: “The United States can reduce emissions from agriculture and enhance carbon sinks”
“I am pleased to see the United States co-leading the creation of the initiative,” said US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
“The goal is to accelerate agricultural innovation through increased research and development.
“Together we can address our shared climate challenges.”
The announcement came just after President Joe Biden’s statement to the Leaders Summit that America would cut its greenhouse gases in half by 2030.
He said, “The United States can reduce emissions from forests and agriculture and enhance carbon sinks.” And this could be done “through nature-based solutions.”
Earlier in the week the US Department of Agriculture had announced the expansion of the Conservation Reserve Program, adding four million acres to a total of 27 million acres by 2023.
“Part of our effort will focus on enhancing climate-smart agricultural practices”
“Those four million acres will allow us to store 3.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, prevent 90 million pounds of nitrogen entering into our waterways, and ensure that 33 million tons of sediment and topsoil are preserved for productive agriculture,” Tom Vilsack said.
It’s expected that US agriculture targets will be met with the help of financial incentives for farmers, ranchers and foresters, to remove carbon from the atmosphere through new farm practices and technologies.
“We are making an aggressive reduction target for the country,” Tom Vilsack said.
“Part of our effort will focus on enhancing climate-smart agricultural practices, the development of biofuels, carbon capture and sequestration, better forest management and reforestation.”
Politico reported that a new approach to agriculture in America would be needed to meet the targets. It quoted Ben Lilliston, director of rural strategies and climate change at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, who said, “It’s going to be hard to shift US agriculture when you have one particular model — we would call it a factory farm model — that is dominant and is allowed to evade a lot of regulations.”