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Join us at COP27

IFOAM – Organics International is bringing the voice of the organic movement to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Egypt. Along with Sekem, we are involved in many ways at events taking place in the first weeks of November.

The UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP27) will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The ever-clearer impact of climate change makes this COP especially relevant for the organic sector particularly as we felt last year’s event, COP26 in Glasgow, fell short of what was needed for meaningful progress on this critical issue.

Click here to find out more on our participation in COP27 *events:

9 November | 11:15 - 12:30 | Food4Climate Pavilion

Over the past few years, conflict, COVID, and climate change have exposed the vulnerabilities of our food systems in the face of shocks. Many of these fragilities are a direct result of our current dependency on costly chemical inputs, lengthy commodity chains, as well as over-reliance on the import of staple foods. This has contributed to generations living in poverty and millions on the brink of starvation, particularly on the African continent.

The livelihoods of small-scale farmers and consumers around the world will be greatly impacted unless we upscale practices that work with nature and deliver on the sustainable development goals, such as agroecological, organic, and regenerative farming. However, in light of heightened food insecurity, there are different perspectives on how we should move forward. Standing at this crossroad, what urgent steps should be taken to transition to sustainable food and farming systems?

Together with speakers from the Agroecology Coalition, the World Resources Institute, AGRA and the Government of Switzerland, we will take a joint look at the urgent steps we should be taking to transition to sustainable food and farming systems.

Moderator:

  • Mamadou Goita, IPES-Food (CONFIRMED, in person)

Panelists

  • Veronica Ndetu, Head of Climate Change Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Government of Kenya
  • Susan Chomba, Director, Vital Landscapes for Africa, World Resources Institute
  • H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Board Chair of AGRA, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia
  • Karen Mapusua, President, IFOAM - Organics International

Q&A and Statement from the floor

  • Dr. Alex Awiti,  Agroecology Coalition (in-person)

Closing remarks - moderator (M. Goita)

11 November | 16:15 - 17:30 | FAO Pavilion

Watch the livestream here

The session will first present the insights of a carbon life cycle assessment of Industrial Livestock Production in Brazil, Netherlands, US and China. It will then look at case studies showing the impact of intensive animal agriculture on climate change in Africa, whilst showing that another way of producing food is possible using the case studies of farmers applying the principles of a just transition in the US and other parts of the world.

Animal agriculture is responsible for 32% of human-caused methane. Even if fossil fuel emissions stop immediately, emissions from our food systems alone could increase global temperatures by more than 1.5C.To have any hope of meeting the central goal of the Paris Agreement, our carbon emissions must be reduced considerably, including those coming from agriculture. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its latest report, has underscored the need for rapid transformations across all systems, including food systems, to meet the Paris Climate Agreement Goals.

Transformation of agriculture systems to reduce emissions whilst feeding a growing population in a warming planet is an urgent challenge. Experts in food, climate and animal welfare will discuss the true climate impact of Industrial Farming, why a Just Protein Transition to plant-based proteins and agroecological farming will be critical and how this can offer concrete solutions for a more sustainable and climate-resilient pathway for humans, animals, and the planet.

11 November | 16:30 - 22:00 | Climate Action Room 1 - Ibis

The session lands in the Global Alliance for the Future of Food’s 7 principles: Renewable, Resilient, Equitable, Diverse, Healthy, Inclusive, and Interconnected - as a framework for guiding accelerated action - so that ever more pockets of the future begin to crowd out the old ways. 

  • Nigel Topping, Climate Champions
  • Nabwami Christine, Uganda Small Scale Farmers Association
  • John Mundy, One Acre Fund
  • Barbara Baarsma, Rabo Carbon Bank 
  • Felipe Vilela, reNature 
  • Latha Swamy, City of New Haven and Milan Urban Food Policy Pact
  • Steve Chiu, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
  • Helmy Abouliesh, SEKEM Egypt

Moderated by Patty Fong, Global Alliance for the Future of Food 

12 November | 08:30 - 09:30 | Food4Climate Pavilion

Through this event, a diverse panel of food producers will spotlight agroecology, regenerative agriculture and other innovative approaches, systems and practices they are using to improve food and nutrition security while simultaneously enhancing health and livelihoods, improving the environment, enhancing biodiversity and delivering high value terrestrial solutions to climate change. This 60-minute side event will feature presentations by 5 farmers/ranchers who will share their experiences in utilising climate smart agriculture and regenerative systems and practices that provide high value, near term and scalable solutions to the co-joined mega-challenges the world faces today.

Moderator- Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture (invited)

Panelists:

  • Solutions from the Land- Fred Yoder
  • World Farmers Organization- Arianna Giuliodori, Secretary General
  • IFOAM- Organics International - Gabor Figeczky
  • National Council for Climate change, Sustainable Development and Public Leadership- Dr. Kirit Shelat
  • Regen 10- Melissa Pinfield

14 November | 18:30 - 20:00 | Akhenaten Room, Blue Zone

Transforming agriculture systems to reduce emissions whilst nourishing a growing population in a warming planet is an urgent challenge. Experts in food, climate and animal welfare from four continents will discuss how agroecology can offer concrete solutions for a more sustainable and climate-resilient future for humans, animals, and the planet.

*All event times are in EET. Find your local time here.

If you are interested to learn more about what else we do and want to achieve at COP27, please follow the updates here and on our social media channels.

Before the COP – The Future Economy Forum

Under the auspices of Egypt's environment ministry, the Future Economy Forum will be held in Cairo from 4 to 6 November right before COP27. Sekem aims to scale solutions for the climate and a new economic mainstream that integrates economic development and business success with the regeneration of people, societies and nature.

The Future Economy Forum and Sekem will also contribute together with its partners to various events at the COP. This will offer the opportunity to share the Cairo Summit insights with leaders participating in COP and to engage them in follow-up action initiatives, which are at the core of the Future Economy Forum and Sekem.

Learn more

We agree with UN Climate Change’s Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa: “The science is clear: we must see more climate action this decade if we’re to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and, ultimately, the 1.5-degree goal.”. This is why the UN Climate Chief urged governments to take immediate action by submitting more ambitious national climate action plans, known as NDCs, and Long-Term Strategies, as agreed last year.

This next round of climate talks needs to live up to expectations to prioritise climate justice and solidarity in international efforts to address critical issues such as climate finance, loss and damage, global adaptation targets, keeping the 1.5°C goal alive and acknowledging Africa’s unique needs and circumstances, especially when integrating food system reform with climate action.

A study published last year provided the first estimate of the global climate impacts of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers to cover the entire production chain, from manufacturing to soil application. According to its findings, that synthetic nitrogen fertilisers generated 1,250 million tonnes of CO2e in 2018, accounting for nearly a quarter of all direct emissions from agriculture and 1.5 times the emissions from commercial aviation. Since then, prices of synthetic fertilizers have skyrocketed due to the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

This underscores the urgent need for a global phase-out of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers and a massive shift to sustainable farming methods such as organic agriculture.

The good news is that agriculture is the only sector in the UN climate regime with a dedicated workstream, called the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA). KJWA covers a range of interrelated topics such as soil, livestock, nutrient and water management, food security, the socioeconomic impacts of climate change across agriculture and methods for assessing climate change.

At the COP27, UNFCCC member states need to agree on a new mandate for the KJWA. An ideal outcome for its future would go beyond sustainable agriculture and address all components of food systems, while also contributing to climate goals and human and planetary health.