Highlights from COP26 – Saturday 6 November

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Highlights from COP26 – Saturday 6 November

(left to right) Idris Elba, IFAD Goodwill Ambassador; Gilbert F. Houngbo, IFAD President; Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan climate justice activist; M. Sanjayan, CEO Conservation International; Sabrina Dhowre Elba, IFAD Goodwill Ambassador; Agnes Kalibata, UN Special Envoy to the Food System Summit.


Idris and Sabrina Elba call for greater investments for small-scale agriculture

IFAD Goodwill Ambassadors, Idris and Sabrina Elba attended COP26 to help ensure that African farmers are not left out of the climate conversation and to promote greater investments for small-scale farmers and producers to adapt to climate change.

''Alongside keeping fossil fuels in the ground, we also need to fix our food systems,'' said Sabrina Elba. ''Because if we don’t fix how we grow our food, and value the people who put food on our tables - the custodians of this earth - we won’t survive. It really is that simple''.

IFAD's President told journalists attending a press conference that while it is important to invest in efforts to mitigate climate change, small-scale farmers are on the frontlines and are experiencing immediate impacts.

"When we talk about climate change, the first to pay the price are those small-scale producers," said President Houngbo. "So while we know mitigation is key, we have to keep in mind that mitigation will only give us the impact we want 20 to 30 years from now. Our small-scale producers are suffering now." 

After the press conference, Vanessa Nakate - a Ugandan climate justice activist, and Conservation International, the Elbas met with government and UN officials and spoke at the Sustainable Agriculture plenary.

''It is deeply unfair that the people who contribute so little towards climate change are bearing the brunt of it,'' said Idris Elba at the press briefing. ''Climate change is already starting to affect global food supplies and this is going to be an issue for us all.'' 

Their work is part of a larger campaign to shed light on IFAD’s work in rural development and in particular the flagship Enhanced Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP+) - which is a 100 per cent climate financing mechanism. ASAP+ is envisioned to be the largest fund dedicated to channelling climate finance to small-scale producers.

''The climate crisis is a food crisis and the food crisis is a humanitarian crisis,'' said Nakate. ''There is no climate justice without ensuring that there is food justice''.

 

Climate finance negotiations continue

COP26 will fail to achieve a lasting impact in the fight against climate change if world leaders continue to neglect the urgent need to invest in adaptation by focusing mostly on mitigation. Investments need to be directed to small-scale farmers in developing countries as they are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.

For every 18 dollars spent on mitigation, just one dollar is spent on adaptation. That needs to change. While efforts in mitigation are essential, they will take decades to bear fruit. Insufficient funding for adaptation will have a ripple effect across the world. Failed crops increase hunger and poverty, and trigger more conflicts, forced migration and instability.

There have been extensive discussions on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance. It is a new agenda item and parties are putting forward their initial proposals. The goal in Glasgow is not to set a specific number, but to establish a process for countries to learn, deliberate, and decide how much finance developed countries (and those able and willing to do so) will provide and mobilize. While there has been an increase in climate finance only 0.34 per cent of the finance flows via UN climate funds, risking not to reach the most vulnerable individuals.

Visit IFAD at COP26 for full details and how to take part