Earth Day 2022 ‘Invest in our planet’, the agri-food tech industry has joined

The theme of Earth Day 2022, “Investing in our Planet,” is a stark reminder. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050, we need bold action, broadly Innovate and implement fairly. This requires all of us, businesses, governments and citizens; each has a responsibility to partner for the planet.
This is a big request. Because climate change is obvious, and our economic security depends entirely on the health of the natural world. The Fourth Agricultural Revolution we are advocating must also acknowledge the existence of a precarious, urgent need for a resilient food system.
Earlier this month, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, and the focus remains on climate change mitigation and the situation is urgent. According to this IPCC report, many countries may not be able to meet their emission reduction commitments at present. To achieve the goal of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, global greenhouse gas emissions will have to peak by 2025 at the latest and fall by 43% over the next five years.
Specifically, methane emissions need to be reduced by about one-third over this period. According to IPCC modelling, carbon dioxide emissions must reach net zero by the early 2050s if there is any chance of maintaining 1.5 degrees Celsius.

According to a previous IPCC report, if we do not meet these targets, the price we face will be increasing heatwaves, droughts and floods, and exceeding tolerance thresholds for plants and animals; millions of people will also face Serious food and water security issues, especially in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, small islands and the Arctic.

While the energy sector has been the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade, agriculture and land use are not far behind, contributing about a quarter of carbon emissions. What’s more, industry and transportation are also significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and the agri-food industry overlaps with both. All in all, the IPCC re-emphasizes the critical role the agri-food industry must play in mitigating the impacts of climate change.

While the IPCC report can easily lead to despair and fear, it is worth highlighting that there are some positive findings in the latest IPCC report, especially when it comes to the transformative role that technological innovation and investment can play in mitigating climate change .

Since 2010, the cost of solar, wind and batteries has continued to drop by 85%. A growing number of policies and laws have improved energy efficiency, reduced deforestation rates, and accelerated the deployment of renewable energy. Especially in food and agriculture-related innovations, solutions including carbon sequestration, plant-based diets, and sustainable and low-carbon production of animal-based foods can also lead to large-scale emissions reductions.

As the IPCC points out, investment is critical to ensuring these solutions come to fruition, and the agri-food tech industry is doing its part. Global investment in agri-food tech companies hit a record $51.7 billion last year, nearly double the previous year. For example, investment in alternative proteins also doubled year-on-year; the same is true for cloud retail infrastructure, which encompasses many supply chain and logistics solutions that can also contribute to emissions reductions.

It seems fair to say that the agri-food tech industry is pulling together to help the world comply with emissions reduction targets. While the industry has made some promising progress, the work is far from done. While there is sufficient global capital and liquidity to support and implement solutions to fill the investment gap, the IPCC said that capital flows were shown to be three to six times lower than theoretically required. This depends on clear signals from governments and the international community, including greater coordination of public sector finances and policies.

A key part of this puzzle is “money”. The most extraordinary ideas and inventions can never have any impact without the investment they need. Our agri-food tech ecosystem is evidenced by yet another record-breaking industry-wide venture capital investment, but if we are to continue to hold out hope that we can turn the tide of climate catastrophe, we will need to continue to break these for years to come. record. At the same time, push government and other public sector funding into agri-food tech as much as possible.

Achieving this vision requires understanding the knock-on effects our investments will have on intertwined agricultural, ecological, geopolitical and financial systems. We can then optimize these system interactions to generate truly positive returns between natural, human and financial capital.
The “running clock” of forests, soils and crops is much slower than the blink of an eye in stock trades, financial leverage and the bustling metropolitan nightlife. Today, however, we sow the “seeds” of changing agri-food systems in a climate-changing world that will determine whether future generations will have clean air, drinking water and healthy harvests. This change will extend far beyond farm fences, financial center boards, and ordinary people’s dining tables.

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