8 November 2022 –
- US$60 billion shortfall in climate finance for adaptation in Africa is preventing action in food systems at speed and scale necessary to address climate change
- Agri-food subsidies must be redirected to support nature-positive food production practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve long-term food security
- Majority of African national climate action and adaptation plans include actions on food production but overlook diets and food loss and waste, critical components of food systems transformation
Donors and investors need to assess their portfolios and ensure sufficient funding is allocated for adaptation projects in food systems to support African governments’ plans to build adaptive capacities of their food systems. Scaling and Accelerating Adaption in Food Systems in Africa,
a new report from WWF, finds that the majority of African climate plans include quantified costs of implementing adaptation measures, including in food systems, but there is an estimated shortfall of approximately US$60 billion in current climate finance channelled to adaptation in Africa. An increase in climate finance for adaptation in food systems and redirection of agri-food subsidies to support nature-positive production will help limit the impacts of global warming and tackle food insecurity, but also deliver benefits in water security, sanitation and gender equality.
One in five people in Africa suffers from hunger. Throughout the continent, climate change is reducing crop yields, shortening growing seasons and increasing water stress. A large amount of the world’s remaining unused arable land is in Africa, but simply expanding food production could further destabilise climate, reducing carbon sequestration in soil, forests and grasslands, and decreasing biodiversity. The WWF report finds that to address food insecurity in the continent while also limiting the impacts of global warming, it is necessary to immediately implement actions across food systems, including scaling nature-positive production, shifting to healthier and more sustainable diets and radically cutting food loss and waste.
"Climate change is having devastating impacts on food security in Africa and we can expect things to get worse if we don't urgently implement food-based climate action. Climate finance must be allocated to the continent and channelled to the local communities who will implement food systems solutions,” said Nancy Rapando, Africa’s Food Future Initiative Lead, WWF. “At the same time, adaptation plans must be broadened to include shifts to healthier and more sustainable diets and radical cuts in food loss and waste alongside improved food production. Only by adopting full food systems approaches from farm to fork, and setting more ambitious targets, can we achieve food security and a stable climate.”
Clearly articulated NDCs and NAPs enable governments, climate finance and funding agencies, and international partners to expedite subsidy redesign and allocated of funds for implementation. Nature-positive food production is integrated in the majority of African Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and all National Adaptation Plans (NAP), with a focus on interconnected land-management techniques, including agroforestry and climate-smart agriculture. However, these plans rarely include policy measures and targets for addressing food loss and waste or the role of shift to sustainable and healthy diets. Overlooking these critical mitigation and adaptation measures limits the likelihood of unlocking the funding necessary for a food-secure, net-zero emissions future. COP27 provides countries with an opportunity to enhance their climate plans, and for public and private financial institutions to accelerate allocation and distribution of climate finance and subsidies for food systems transformation.