An $18 trillion coalition of investors, led by Jeremy Coller’s FAIRR initiative, have been calling on the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to set a roadmap showing how the food sector can align with a 1.5°C pathway, as well as being climate-resilient and addressing nature and food security goals. The call is also supported by global figures including Ban Ki-moon, Mary Robinson and Christiana Figueres.
On Wednesday 9th November, the FAO announced its aim to publish a roadmap for agri-food systems in time for COP28 in November next year.
Commitment occurred at a FAIRR-hosted COP27 Blue Zone event: ‘A roadmap to aligning food, finance and philanthropy with climate goals’ (Food and Agriculture Pavilion), with Dr. Helena Wright of FAIRR speaking alongside Zitouni Ould-Dada of FAO.
(Sharm El-Sheikh, 10 November 2022): The FAIRR Initiative, the organisers of a campaign backed by investors representing $18 trillion of combined assets, have welcomed a commitment by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today to create a roadmap for the food system to align with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C – to be published by the time of COP28.
The commitment was made by Zitouni Ould-Dada, Deputy Director of FAO at a COP27 event hosted by FAIRR.
It is hoped the roadmap will set out key milestones and a cost-effective pathway to transition the world’s food system to one that provides affordable, nutritious and plentiful food, while protecting livelihoods in the face of climate change, and aligning with 1.5C.
The commitment follows a FAIRR campaign launched in June 2022 for the FAO to publish such a roadmap. The campaign has since won the backing of investors with $18 trillion of combined assets, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and high-profile figures such as climate champion and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres.
Jeremy Coller, Chair of FAIRR Initiative and Chief Investment Officer at Coller Capital, said:
“Investors representing $18 trillion, led by FAIRR, have made their voices heard. We welcome the FAO’s commitment to producing a roadmap for food and agriculture which will provide much needed clarity to both companies and investors, which will allow companies to plan for the transition and investors to assess investment risk and opportunities. It’s a huge challenge and investors will be looking for the roadmap to include clear guidance on methane emission limits, halting deforestation, scaling up alternative protein production, and support to ensure a just transition for farmers.”
As of June, only 16 out of 54 OECD countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) have specific targets for agriculture – despite the sector producing around a third of global greenhouse gases. A global roadmap will provide countries with the guidance they need to establish ambitious but feasible strategies and targets to sustainably tackle emissions.
Momentum has been building with investor support growing and receiving backing from influential climate figures.
Mary Robinson and Ban-Ki Moon reiterated in a letter earlier this year:
“Last year, the International Energy Agency published a net zero roadmap for the energy sector, which has been very influential. There is now a need for an equivalent roadmap for the food and land use sector. Action in both sectors is needed: even if fossil fuel emissions were eliminated tomorrow, it would still be impossible to reach the Paris agreement’s 1.5°C goal without changing the way we use our land and produce food. In addition, agriculture is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
“We believe the FAO is the UN agency best placed to produce this landmark report, given its mandate and influence in shaping agricultural policies worldwide.”
Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors, said:
“Without a map to get to net zero, the food sector will never get there. That’s why the FAO commitment to set a clear path towards 1.5°C is so important. It will help investors to better determine where capital should flow in order to finance those businesses and sectors best placed to deliver both food security and the low-carbon transition.”
Chris Dodwell, Head of Policy & Advocacy at Impax Asset Management, said:
“A roadmap for the food system will help investors to identify new, sustainable investment opportunities, and to identify risks for companies that are not aligned to the likely direction of future policies. The IEA’s net zero roadmap has provided much-needed guidance for investors in the energy sector, but there is a gap when it comes to the food sector that we hope the FAO’s roadmap will fill. The roadmap will also give countries the confidence needed to include the agriculture sector within their NDCs and develop the policies needed to move us closer to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
Notes to editor
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The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network, founded by Jeremy Coller, with a membership of $69 trillion assets under management. FAIRR works with institutional investors to define the material ESG issues linked to intensive livestock and fish farming systems and provide them with the tools necessary to integrate this information into their asset stewardship and investment decisions. This includes the Coller FAIRR Index, the world’s first comprehensive assessment of the largest global animal protein companies on environmental, social and governance issues. Visit www.fairr.org and follow @FAIRRInitiative