From devastating storms and flooding to record heat waves and droughts, farmers across the world—from Minnesota to Ecuador, from Niger to Kenya—are experiencing firsthand the threat of climate change. The world is also facing the worst food crisis in decades: over 20 million people are at the brink of famine and 345 million people are facing acute food insecurity. Global hunger and climate change are inextricably linked—they both demand an urgent reshaping of our food systems.
As world leaders gather at COP27, they have an opportunity to ensure that food systems get the attention and funding they need. According to a new report, food production, processing, consumption, and waste account for a third of all global greenhouse gas emissions, yet food systems receive just 3 percent of climate finance.
McKnight president Tonya Allen makes the case in an opinion piece for The Hill that governments must act quickly and systematically to make it easier for farmers to advance climate solutions on the ground, which will make their operations and their livelihoods more resilient while also creating healthy soil, clean water, nourishing food, and thriving economies.
McKnight also joined 13 other philanthropic funders to urge COP27 President Sameh Shoukry that he use the summit to make food systems transformation a top priority.
As U.S. midterm election results roll in, leaders at all levels of government have a golden opportunity to address an urgent issue that has importance from the global policy stage of COP to our own kitchen tables. This is the moment for government, businesses, state and local leaders, and advocates to join forces to ensure that farming is contributing to sustainable practices, not inhibiting them. Let’s work hard, together, to save our food systems and avert climate disaster.