London: India is among 27 countries to sign up to a sustainable agriculture action agenda at the conclusion of the first week of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, laying out new commitments to make farming more sustainable and less polluting.
The ‘Sustainable Agriculture Policy Action Agenda for the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture and Global Action Agenda for Innovation in Agriculture’ was among the highlight action pledges to be clinched by the participating countries at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Saturday.
The countries laid out new commitments to change their agricultural policies to become more sustainable and less polluting, and to invest in the science needed for sustainable agriculture and for protecting food supplies against climate change.
“If we are to limit global warming and keep the goal of 1.5 degree Celsius alive, then the world needs to use land sustainably and put protection and restoration of nature at the heart of all we do,” said Alok Sharma, the Indian-origin UK Cabinet minister, in his role as the President of COP26.
“The commitments being made today show that nature and land use is being recognised as essential to meeting the Paris Agreement goals, and will contribute to addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Meanwhile, as we look ahead to negotiations in week two of COP, I urge all parties to come to the table with the constructive compromises and ambitions needed,” he said.
Others besides India to sign up to the action plan include Australia, Uganda, Madagascar, Tanzania, Vietnam, Nigeria, Lesotho, Laos, Indonesia, Guinea, Ghana, Germany, Philippines, Ethiopia, UK, Colombia, Costa Rica, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Spain, Switzerland and the UAE.
The announcement follows Ocean Action Day on Friday of over 10 new countries signing up to the “30by30” target to protect 30 per cent of the world’s ocean by 2030. These include India, Bahrain, Jamaica, St Lucia, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, India, Qatar, Samoa, Tonga, Gambia and Georgia, with the target now supported by over 100 countries.
Among other developments from week one of the COP26 climate summit, the World Bank will commit to spending USD 25 billion in climate finance annually to 2025 through its Climate Action Plan, including a focus on agriculture and food systems.
The conclusion of the first week, which opened with the World Leaders’ Summit attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was marked by a massive protest march by environmental activists in Glasgow on Saturday.
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg joined thousands at the “Global Day of Action for Climate Justice” march, the biggest so far during the COP26 summit which took place alongside hundreds of similar events around the world.