UAE unveils ‘AIM for Climate’ to address issues in agro sector

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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The UAE is expected to lead a new global movement that will drive agricultural innovation and transform food systems over the next five years, to address climate change.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai unveiled the Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) at the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by US President Mr. Joe Biden.

The UAE will lead the initiative alongside the US, with support from the UK, Brazil, Denmark, Israel, Singapore, Australia, and Uruguay.

The world’s fragile food production is under pressure as the world’s population grows. The crisis’s heat and weather changes have undermined longstanding agricultural practices, forcing many farmers into poverty. It’s high time for new technology to be introduced to assist the sector in dealing with climate change and all of its consequences. This is where the UAE-US pioneering movement comes into play.

AIM for Climate would address the issues that have been plaguing the agricultural sector. Emissions, food protection, and water security will all be addressed. The sector currently accounts for 24 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. As the world’s population grows, advances ineffective, productive farming techniques will help reduce the sector’s environmental impacts, increase access to nutritious food, and generate new economic opportunities, skills, and employment.

Beyond agriculture, Sheikh Mohammed reaffirmed the country’s dedication to turning climate change issues into future opportunities for the next generations. He spoke of the UAE’s environmental vision and the many achievements the country has crossed in its efforts to make the planet a greener place.

The Leaders Summit is a turning point on the way to the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this November, and it aims to improve the prospects of successful global climate action at COP26.

The UAE-US AIM for Climate initiative is one of the main projects scheduled to be launched at COP26.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister for Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change pointed out that “by investing in innovation and technology in the agricultural sector, we can unlock opportunities for effective mitigation and adaptation, feed growing populations in resource stressed areas, and create economic growth. AIM for Climate will build on the UAE’s experience and the legacy of Sheikh Zayed in proactively adopting, investing in, and promoting new technologies to tackle climate change.”

Developing technologies to improve local agricultural production has always been a priority in the UAE. It aspires to be a world-leading hub in innovation-driven food security by 2051.

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Mr. John Kerry remarked that “I was impressed by the ingenuity being applied to food and climate challenges during my recent trip to the UAE, and know that we all stand to benefit by sharing best practices and raising innovation ambition when it comes to climate-smart agriculture. AIM for Climate can serve as a unique platform for cooperation among many countries on these shared challenges.”

Once launched at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November (COP26), AIM for Climate will catalyze increased investment in agricultural innovation and research and development to help boost global ambition and underpin more rapid and transformative climate action in all countries.

Investment in agricultural innovation and research and development will strengthen existing methods and provide new ways to increase agricultural productivity, improve livelihoods, and adapt and create resilience to climate change while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon.

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