COP28: New sustainable food systems pledge agreed to improve climate resilience and reduce the environmental impact of food

134 governments have signed a new pledge to reduce the environmental impact of food systems and improve their climate resilience.
December 1, 2023

Nations sign ‘landmark’ sustainable food systems pledge

According to WWF, the 134 countries who have signed the agreement are responsible for 75% of food-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Signatories to the Declaration have committed to including food systems approaches in updated Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans as well as National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans which fall under the auspices of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. As such, the Declaration creates a framework for transformative food-based climate and nature action.

You can read more here: COP28 UAE | COP28 Presidency puts food systems transformation on global climate agenda as more than 130 world leaders endorse Food and Agriculture Declaration

Early reactions


“The commitment of world leaders to integrate food systems approaches (combining food production, consumption and loss and waste) in climate action is exactly what we need at a time when a 1.5 degrees future looks harder and harder to achieve,” said João Campari, Global Food Practice Leader, WWF. “This commitment keeps the hope alive, but it must urgently lead to action to protect, sustainably manage and restore landscapes, seascapes and riverscapes that are critical to sustain life on Earth - particularly those being degraded by unsustainable food systems.”[i]



Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO of World Resources Institute has said:

“It’s a big deal that 134 countries today agreed to put food at the heart of their climate plans at the annual UN climate summit. The launch of this declaration is the moment when food truly comes of age in the climate process, sending a powerful signal to the nations of the world that we can only keep the 1.5-degree goal in sight if we act fast to shift the global food system in the direction of greater sustainability and resilience.”

He added: “This is an opportunity for countries to increase their ambition to protect and nurture fresh water when the linkages between water and food have never been more urgent. These plans must also ensure that everyone can access nutritious food, bolster people’s livelihoods, especially for smallholder farmers whom we depend on so much, and actively contribute to protecting and restoring nature. All countries must leave COP28 with a commitment to incorporate food and food systems fully into their next round of NDCs and arrive at COP29 and COP30 with real progress in hand. In the end, the Declaration’s success will be determined by whether countries follow through on these commitments with substantial policy reforms.”[ii]

Global Alliance for the Future of Food

Patty Fong, Program Director at the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, said:

“The Declaration doesn’t set out how governments will tackle food emissions, and makes no reference to fossil fuels, despite food systems accounting for at least 15% of fossil fuels burned each year—equivalent to the emissions of all EU countries and Russia combined. This is a glaring omission.”

“However, the commitment to integrate food and farming into domestic climate action plans is welcome and long overdue. Over 70% of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions lack adequate action on food systems—updating them is where there is real potential to tackle emissions and unlock climate finance.”[iii]


[i] Leader’s Declaration on Food System a milestone moment in climate action, but global commitment must translate to local action | WWF (

[ii] STATEMENT: 134 Countries Sign the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture and Put Food High on the Climate Agenda at COP28 | World Resources Institute (

[iii] COP28 Food Declaration: Fossil fuels are the glaring omission - Global Alliance for the Future of Food

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Lauren Foye
Head of Reports

Lauren has extensive experience as an analyst and market researcher in the digital technology and travel sectors. She has a background in researching and forecasting emerging technologies, with a particular passion for the Videogames and eSports industries. She joined the Critical Information Group as Head of Reports and Market Research at GRC World Forums, and leads the content and data research team at the Zero Carbon Academy. “What drew me to the academy is the opportunity to add content and commentary around sustainability across a wealth of industries and sectors.”

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