Renewable Energy for Agri-food Systems: Towards Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement

04 November 2021 |Virtual

Energy and agri-food systems are deeply connected. While energy is needed at every stage of agri-food systems, its current use in their development is unsustainable. About 30% of the world’s energy is consumed within agri-food systems, mainly in the form of fossil fuels, and this energy is responsible for a third of their greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the lack of access to reliable and affordable energy affects many food chains in developing countries, causing food losses and impeding improvements in yields and value addition. Hundreds of millions of people also still do not have access to clean cooking fuels, relying instead on traditional fuels with significant health and environmental costs.

Both the energy and food systems must be transformed to meet current and future demand for food and energy in an inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner. Renewable energy solutions can directly advance both energy and food security, while contributing to job creation, gender equality and climate action. Recognizing this important link, IRENA and FAO have strengthened their collaboration to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy in agri-food, fisheries and forestry chains, and sustainable bioenergy.

IRENA and FAO jointly convened this virtual meeting during COP26 with two objectives:

  • To launch the joint FAO-IRENA report ‘Renewable Energy for Agri-food Systems: Towards Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement’ and highlight the actions it proposes to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in agri-food systems; and
  • To present and discuss the proposed actions under the Energy Compact ‘Energising Agri-food systems with Renewable Energy’ showcased at the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy.

The event convened stakeholders from across sectors to discuss challenges and concrete measures needed to scale-up renewables adoption in the agriculture sector, while advancing a joint approach to the energy transition and the transformation of agri-food systems to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

The agenda can be accessed here.