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Cop27: protests expected in Sharm el-Sheikh and around the world – live | Cop27

Nina Lakhani

Today is food day in Sharm el-Sheikh, the first ever dedicated day to agriculture and adaptation in a Cop – which is mindblowing given that a third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from industrialised food systems and the devastating effects the climate crisis is having on farming and food security.

Big agri-business and industrial agriculture is set to receive significant support from some governments in the main negotiating halls, where expect to hear lots about ‘climate smart agriculture’ and tech-driven solutions that will largely tinker with the current industrialised systems rather than push transformative change. One to watch is the session on the US-UAE initiative – the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) which has already garnered at least $8bn in private-sector support. Small-scale and Indigenous sustainable farmers who produce 70% of the world’s food won’t play a big role in the main negotiations, but outside the halls will call for a fair share of subsidies and additional climate finance to build more diverse and resilient food systems that the IPCC says helps to buffer temperature extremes and sequester carbon.

Outside the main negotiations there are dozens of food-focused side events taking place, and the Guardian will attempt to bring you a flavour of these throughout the day.

Just as a quick reminder on why climate and food matters: 37 million people face starvation in the Greater Horn of Africa after four consecutive droughts; in Pakistan unprecedented floods battered the country’s major agricultural regions; and record-breaking temperatures throughout Europe led to drastically reduced crop yields. Add to that Russia’s war in Ukraine which has caused global shortages and price hikes in wheat, oilseeds and fertiliser, underscoring the fragility of the fossil-fuel dependent food industry that has sacrificed diversity, sustainability and resilience for mass production and profits.

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A report released early this morning by campaigners Reboot Food finds that enough protein to feed the world could be produced in an area smaller than London.

The report suggests that if animal protein was grown through fermentation in tanks, rather than livestock in fields or barns, it would be a 40,900 times more efficient use of land.

The technology to make this happen is still at an early stage, but rapid advances have been made in recent years. My colleague Helena Horton has the full story here:

There is a heavy police presence in Sharm el-Sheikh for a protest outside the conference centre. At noon local time (10am GMT) we are expecting to see a march through the conference centre itself, but it is not clearly how tightly policed that will be.

Police officers stand guard as civil society group known as the Cop27 Coalition holds a march.
Police officers stand guard as civil society group known as the Cop27 Coalition holds a march. Photograph: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters
Activists protest outside the Cop27 climate conference.
Activists protest outside the Cop27 climate conference. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Nina Lakhani

Today is food day in Sharm el-Sheikh, the first ever dedicated day to agriculture and adaptation in a Cop – which is mindblowing given that a third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from industrialised food systems and the devastating effects the climate crisis is having on farming and food security.

Big agri-business and industrial agriculture is set to receive significant support from some governments in the main negotiating halls, where expect to hear lots about ‘climate smart agriculture’ and tech-driven solutions that will largely tinker with the current industrialised systems rather than push transformative change. One to watch is the session on the US-UAE initiative – the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) which has already garnered at least $8bn in private-sector support. Small-scale and Indigenous sustainable farmers who produce 70% of the world’s food won’t play a big role in the main negotiations, but outside the halls will call for a fair share of subsidies and additional climate finance to build more diverse and resilient food systems that the IPCC says helps to buffer temperature extremes and sequester carbon.

Outside the main negotiations there are dozens of food-focused side events taking place, and the Guardian will attempt to bring you a flavour of these throughout the day.

Just as a quick reminder on why climate and food matters: 37 million people face starvation in the Greater Horn of Africa after four consecutive droughts; in Pakistan unprecedented floods battered the country’s major agricultural regions; and record-breaking temperatures throughout Europe led to drastically reduced crop yields. Add to that Russia’s war in Ukraine which has caused global shortages and price hikes in wheat, oilseeds and fertiliser, underscoring the fragility of the fossil-fuel dependent food industry that has sacrificed diversity, sustainability and resilience for mass production and profits.

Bill McGuire, author of the recent book Hothouse Earth, has written for the Guardian this morning about his pessimism that the target of keeping global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

In retrospect, it is clear that having a specific target, rather than fighting to stop every fraction of a degree in temperature rise, has actually been counterproductive. There is a perennial problem with targets, and that is that they are always still reachable – until they aren’t. In this way, they can be used to justify inertia right up until it is too late. And this is exactly how fossil-fuel corporations, world leaders and others have used 1.5C – as a get-out-of-jail card to justify inaction on emissions. Continuing to present this temperature threshold as an attainable target provides a fig leaf for business as usual. Take it away, and this dangerous jiggery-pokery is exposed for all to see.

You can read the full piece here:

Good morning, and welcome to the Guardian’s coverage of day six of the Cop27 climate talks taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh.

As we reach the end of the first week, Saturday’s theme is “adaptation and agriculture”. It’s also traditionally the day most focused on protest, although that will be limited this year due to the Egyptian government’s draconian crackdown on protests. However, there will be lots of actions held around the world.

Friday saw US president Joe Biden make a flying visit to the conference, where he made a speech saying world leaders “can no longer plead ignorance” and that “the science is devastatingly clear – we have to make progress by the end of this decade.” My colleague Oliver Milman was there, and you can read his report here:

You can also catch up on the rest of the day’s events here.

I’m Alan Evans, and you can send me story tips, comments, pictures, questions or abuse at alan.evans@theguardian.com. or on Twitter at @itsalanevans.




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