Leader’s Declaration on Food System a milestone moment in climate action, but global commitment must translate to local action

Posted on December, 01 2023

134 countries producing 75% of food-based greenhouse gas emissions agree at COP28 to transform food systems for benefit of climate, nature and people


WWF calls on all stakeholders to rapidly translate commitments to action in landscapes, seascapes and riverscapes, all of which are critical to sustain life on Earth


1 December 2023 - WWF welcomes the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action published today at the UN climate COP28, and is greatly encouraged that it has been endorsed by 134 Heads of State. The Declaration brings food systems to the front and centre of COP28 and creates a framework for transformative food-based climate action. WWF calls on signatories to immediately translate their commitments to the Declaration into national action and implementation on the ground and in the water.

“The commitment of world leaders to integrate food systems approaches (combining food production, consumption and loss and waste) in climate action is exactly what we need at a time when a 1.5 degrees future looks harder and harder to achieve,” said João Campari, Global Food Practice Leader, WWF. “This commitment keeps the hope alive, but it must urgently lead to action to protect, sustainably manage and restore landscapes, seascapes and riverscapes that are critical to sustain life on Earth - particularly those being degraded by unsustainable food systems.”

Signatories to the Declaration have committed to including food systems approaches in updated Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans as well as National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans which fall under the auspices of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. As such, the Declaration creates a framework for transformative food-based climate and nature action.

“To deliver the most impact in the shortest time, stakeholders must collaborate and align climate commitments with goals to protect and restore nature. Food systems depend on this, but they are also key to connecting the dots. We call on policymakers, financiers and businesses to work with food producers and consumers, to build robust ecosystems of support that enable rapid implementation of context-specific solutions,” said Campari.

The 134 countries that have signed the Declaration produce 75 percent of all food-based greenhouse gas emissions, and consume 70 percent of all food globally. The Declaration is supported by a Non-State Actors Call to Action for Transforming Food Systems for People, Nature, and Climate that has been signed by more than 150 organisations, including WWF. Together, these two declarations build a robust foundation for ambitious and impactful action in food systems.

WWF calls on remaining Heads of State to urgently endorse the Declaration, and for more non-state actors to lend their support to the Call to Action. “If we are to build a sustainable and resilient global food system that can provide everyone with enough healthy and nutritious food, all countries must take local action,” Campari concluded. 


- END - 

For more information
Peter McFeely (Global Head of Communications, Food, WWF) pmcfeely@wwfint.org
leader's declaration on food cop28
© wwf