Last week, COP28 concluded with a stronger agreement than had been previously feared. Though there was no agreement to phase out fossil fuels, the final text did agree to ‘transition away from’ them, with action in this critical decade and Net Zero by 2050. However, there was little finance provided for developing countries in the agreement, which will undoubtedly hamper their ability to transition at the speed required. More support promised from the richest countries, who contribute the most to catastrophic climate events – the UK itself takes the fourth spot worldwide for cumulative historical emissions – is imperative for future Conferences. Continuing to fudge this “loss and damage” issue just further delays the just transition away from disaster.
134 countries also signed the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action at the Conference. This declaration enshrined “the right to adequate food in the context of national food security” and the right of all to “access to safe, sufficient, affordable, and nutritious food”.
As I said in a debate in the Senedd last week, Welsh food systems must adapt to ensure food security and prioritise sustainable land management.
Part of this work includes delivering a subsidy scheme that prioritises soil health, biodiversity, and food security. The Welsh Government is currently consulting on the final stages of its Sustainable Farming Scheme, which has been developed and co-designed with contributions from over 1,500 farmers. The Scheme promises to:
- Support the production of food in a sustainable manner
- Protect ecosystems
- Facilitate the mitigation and adaptation to climate change
- Support the resilience of the agricultural sector in Wales