Irish Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon, is set to attend a major summit on climate in the US next month. The event is part of the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate initiative, which aims to drive rapid transformation towards climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and food systems innovation. The initiative is led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the US, supported by 47 other countries including Ireland. AIM for Climate was launched at COP26 by US President Joe Biden with an initial investment of $4 billion from partners, which has more than doubled to over $8 billion as of COP27.
The AIM for Climate Summit is scheduled to take place on May 8-10, 2023, in Washington D.C. It will bring together high-profile agriculture and climate ministers, heads of private and public sector organisations, and experts from across the world to explore and unlock innovations in CSA by multi-sector partners. The event will feature keynote speeches from John Kerry (US Climate Envoy), former US vice-president Al Gore, Secretary Tom Vilsack (US agriculture minister), Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri (UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment), EU agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, and Rodrigo Santos, president of Bayer’s Crop Science Division.
Minister Martin Heydon will be in attendance at the summit, where he will participate in two breakout sessions. The first session, titled ‘A Mission for Soil Health to Address Climate Change: Experiences from across the EU’, will feature Senior research officer with Teagasc, Karen Daly, along with Commissioner Wojciechowski and Minister Heydon and others from Denmark and The Netherlands. The session will focus on soil health as a means to address climate change. Daly will also join Minister Heydon for another ‘breakout session’ about Ireland’s Agri-Food Sector Transformation Deep Demonstration.
The summit will also discuss the crucial role of women in science and how science and research can contribute to addressing the challenges of climate change and food insecurity. According to the organisers, over $1 billion of its investments came from some of the initiative’s non-governmental partners who launched ‘Innovation Sprints’ at COP27. This campaign involved accelerated efforts to tackle climate change across four areas: Methane reduction; emerging technology; smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries; and agroecological research.
The AIM for Climate initiative is a significant step towards achieving climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation. With the participation of experts and leaders from around the world, the AIM for Climate Summit promises to be a crucial event in driving progress towards a sustainable future. Minister Heydon’s attendance at the event highlights Ireland’s commitment to tackling climate change and promoting sustainable agriculture.