COP28: UAE and US Unveil Billion-Dollar Funding to Combat Climate Change

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Dubai: In a landmark announcement at COP28, Mariam Al Mheiri, the UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, alongside Tom Vilsack, the US Secretary of Agriculture, revealed a substantial billion-dollar funding initiative dedicated to the UAE-US-led Aim for Climate campaign. Addressing the urgent need to tackle climate change, the initiative specifically targets the critical issue of food waste. Al Mheiri emphasized the pivotal role of behavioral shifts in food consumption habits, underlining the ongoing commitment needed for lasting change.

Furthermore, the UAE Climate Change Minister stressed the alarming consequences of excessive food waste ending up in landfills, calling for a global reevaluation of consumer behavior. She shared her personal commitment to minimizing food waste and introduced initiatives promoting climate-smart eating habits, including the visual cue of smaller portion sizes.

Tom Vilsack echoed the significance of the agricultural sector in swiftly achieving net-zero emissions, acknowledging the challenges faced by farmers in adopting costly technology. The funding initiative aims to incentivize such adoption by demonstrating that environmentally conscious farming practices can result in higher retail prices, thereby reducing the environmental impact of food production.

In a parallel development, over 800 influential figures spanning business, politics, and philanthropy issued a collective call for decisive action at COP28. Notable signatories, including Richard Branson, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest, urged COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and all participating nations to deliver a rapid response plan for the global stocktake.

This collective appeal outlined three key outcomes necessary for a positive impact:

  • An orderly phase-out of fossil fuels aligned with a 1.5°C trajectory.
  • Scaling up public and private finance, with developed nations leading the way.
  • Halting deforestation, biodiversity loss, and land degradation by 2030, ensuring resilient food systems and a robust global goal on adaptation.
  • The urgency of these outcomes was stressed, with a call for the implementation and ratcheting of Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans well before COP30 in 2025.

khalid COP28

In a related context, the global spotlight on COP28 also illuminated Balochistan’s impactful contributions to climate action. SHARF, a pioneering startup from the South-Western Province of Pakistan led by entrepreneur Mr. Khalid Hussain Mir, introduced innovative strategies to combat food waste and promote a circular economy in Pakistan. Beyond entrepreneurship, Mr. Khalid’s passionate advocacy for flood-affected communities through his involvement with the Chanan Development Association (CDA) Pakistan highlighted a dual narrative of innovative solutions and humanitarian commitment for Climate Justice.  Balochistan’s showcase at COP28 emerged as a testament to the region’s unwavering dedication to addressing both environmental and social challenges on the global stage.

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