Food, agriculture, and climate at COP28 – and beyond


Berlin,COP28 will see a welcome focus on food systems and agriculture with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Presidency pressing governments to commit to integrating food and agriculture more effectively into their national climate agendas. This brief highlights priority areas in moving from political declarations to concrete action.

Key Findings and Recommendations

  1. Agricultural policies that distort farm production decisions and trade flows and can have a negative effect on both climate and the broader environment should be phased out. Alternative measures should be introduced to support innovation and sustainable practices across the food supply chain.
  2. The private sector can play a greater role in delivering better food, agriculture, climate, and environment outcomes. The widespread adoption of regenerative agriculture will not be possible without strong collaboration across the public and private sectors, and civil society.

Building on progress made at COP28, there is a need to accelerate multilateral efforts to drive a comprehensive modernisation of current food and agriculture policies. This should include improving the awareness and understanding of available information; investing in internationally comparable metrics to assess impacts; and building a coalition of stakeholders in support of evidence-based reform – preferably at the WTO.


Anthony Cox is a Senior Policy Advisor at Ecologic Institute, Berlin, and the former Deputy Environment Director at the OECD.

Ken Ash is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide, the Director of Ash Global Insights, and the former Director of Trade and Agriculture at the OECD.

The views expressed here are the author’s alone and not those of the Institute for International Trade.

Tagged in Featured, Policy Brief

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