The United States and the UAE are seeking an additional $4 billion of global investment in an initiative launched last year to make agriculture resilient to climate change and reduce its emissions, US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack told Reuters ahead of the initiative’s first ministerial meeting in Dubai on Monday.
The US and the UAE launched the initiative, Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) at COP26 climate talks in November, aiming for $4 billion investment from governments and non-government innovation partners between 2021-2025. AIM now wants $8 billion in climate-smart investment commitments by the November COP27 climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
“We believe we actually need to set a higher goal. President Biden believes we should get $8 billion by COP27,” Vilsack said.
The AIM for Climate initiative is supported by 140 partners who have agreed to increase public and private investment in climate-smart agriculture research and practices.
The initial $4 billion target comprised $1 billion each from the US and UAE governments, $1.8 billion from other governments and $200 million from non-government partners.
The US Department of Agriculture recently said it would invest $1 billion in pilot projects for climate-smart commodities, promoting farming, ranching and forestry practices that cut emissions.
US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack said that initiative could qualify as part of U.S. AIM for Climate targets. “There are a number of different ways those resources could be identified.”
The US farming industry is already battling the effects of climate change, including increased drought and flooding.
The UAE, a Gulf oil producer that imports most of its food and desalinates seawater for potable water, is investing heavily in agricultural and water technologies, and clean energy. The country is the host of COP28 climate talks in 2023.