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Campaign for Female Education’s Climate-Smart Agriculture Guides
Campaign for Female Education’s Climate-Smart Agriculture Guides

The United Nations has announced its Global Climate Action Awards for 2019. The award-winning projects range from an initiative to train sub-Saharan African women sustainable agriculture practices to a “climate positive” burger. The 2019 awards were selected by an international advisory panel as part of UN Climate Change’s Momentum for Change initiative, which operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum.

The 15 award-winning projects fall within four focus areas: Planetary Health, Climate Neutral Now, Women for Results, and Financing for Climate Friendly Investment. Of the 15 winners, the following four deal with climate change in the food industry:

  • Impossible Foods: Compared to industrial beef produced in the United States, the Impossible Burger requires 96% less land, 87% less fresh water, generates 89% less greenhouse gas emissions, and results in 92% less pollution to freshwater ecosystems. In 2018, Impossible Burger sales of beef spared the equivalent of 81,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, 3.4 billion L of water and 100 square kilometers of land.
  • MAX Burgers: A Swedish restaurant chain that launched the world’s first “climate positive” menu in June 2018. Climate positive is defined as “removing more climate gases than the value chain emits while at the same time reducing emissions in line with the 1.5℃ goal from Paris.” It takes into account all emissions from the “farmers land to the guest’s hand,” also including the customer’s journey back and forth to the restaurant.
  • Ghent en Garde: Ghent is a small city in northwest Belgium with around 250,000 residents—and was one of the first European cities to launch its own urban food policy. Launched in 2013, Ghent’s urban food policy demonstrates the potential to transform the food systems at the local urban level.
  • Campaign for Female Education’s Climate-Smart Agriculture Guides: An initiative to train young women from poor, marginalized farming communities across sub-Saharan Africa. Through this training, these young women become Agriculture Guides—champions of sustainable agriculture. These young women have improved the productivity, sustainability, and profitability of their own smallholdings as well as encouraged wide adoption of practical, affordable, and locally relevant climate-smart techniques.

“This year, we had over 670 applications from all over the world ranging from local governments, global companies, grassroots development initiatives, and multi-million dollar impact investment projects,” said Gabrielle Ginér, chair of the Momentum for Change advisory panel. “This year’s winning activities are amazing examples of innovative, scalable, and replicable climate action. We hope they will inspire others as we look to tackle one of society’s biggest challenges.”

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