It’s no secret that our planet is in crisis. Each UN Climate Change Conference (COP) commences against the background of increasingly dire warnings, and this year’s will be no exception. In 2021, almost everyone on earth has felt the effects of the changing climate, be it with floods, drought, extreme heat and cold, wildfires or intense storms. It’s also no secret that something as essential to our lives as the systems that produce the food we eat are a huge driver of the problem. Industrial agriculture is the world’s biggest source of carbon emissions, accelerating climate change while driving consumption of unhealthy and unsustainable foods.
We can change this story. The food system can be a tool to heal the planet. When we farm, produce and eat in ways that respect the earth, we can actually reverse the effects of climate change, and make strides to improve human health and wellbeing, too.
Let me share what this can look like, courtesy of the remarkable innovators who make up the Food Systems Game Changers Lab. For months leading up to the UN Food Systems Summit, over 850 problem-solvers from 127 countries worked together in groups to develop plans for sustainable solutions to specific food systems challenges. They tackled complex topics at the intersection of food systems and climate, health, and economic prosperity, and developed inspiring, actionable ideas to re-imagine the way food impacts people and planet.
Here are a few that offer exciting solutions for our climate future in particular: