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Beyond COP 27: driving action on the climate emergency

Published: 15/11/2022

To avoid irreversible and disastrous consequences for generations to come, we must work around the world and across every sector to fight the climate emergency.

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the planet today. If we don’t reduce our greenhouse gas emissions significantly, and rapidly, we will see a rise in global temperatures with devastating impacts on people, biodiversity, the environment, and our food production.

As an industry, we are absolutely committed to helping the European Union become the first climate neutral continent by 2050, and to achieve the Paris Agreement objective to keep the global temperature increase below 2°C above 1990 levels.

Furthermore, as Europe’s largest manufacturing sector, the food and drink industry will play an integral role in helping the EU reach carbon neutrality by 2050, but it can only be achieved with changes across the entire farm-to-fork process.

At global level, the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact and the finalisation of The Paris Rulebook during COP 26, have been instrumental for calling on accelerated action on climate.

With this backdrop, and building on COP 27 discussions, it will be essential to:

  • Increase the global ambition to keep the 1.5°C objective within reach, in line with the Paris Agreement. The latter scaled up by the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and taking into account the EU’s net zero ambition.
  • Promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy to reduce consumption of fossil fuels.
  • Advance the Global Goal on Adaptation at the forefront of global action in order to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change.
  • Scale up efforts to mobilise finance from all sources to support climate action and to mainstream climate in all financial flows.
  • Discuss ways forward to support and implement climate action in the agri-food sector taking into account a food systems approach.
  • Stimulate cooperation and partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society.

Decarbonising the industry 

With these ambitions in mind, this year FoodDrinkEurope launched its Action Plan for Sustainable Food Systems, which puts action on climate change at its heart and builds on FoodDrinkEurope’s decarbonisation roadmap, which details 90+ concrete actions that food and drink operators can take to reduce their emissions and decarbonise the food and drink industry.

Next year, we will develop a toolkit on the additional steps that manufacturers, and especially SME’s, will need to take to further decarbonise. Action will not stop here as we also need to focus on key actions for our sector, such as on food waste contributing to UN SDG 12.3 and deforestation.

By Lorenzo Ferrucci

Senior Manager, Sustainability