Today at COP26, the potential of agriculture to be perhaps the biggest nature-based solution to climate change was the feature of a panel hosted by the Sustainable Food Trust and Freuds and the driving mission of a new collective, Regen10, launched today.

SFT & Freuds event at Goals House, Glasgow

Streamed live from Goals House in Glasgow this morning, Patrick Holden, CEO of the Sustainable Food Trust, said, ‘There is a lot of confusion about the right way to farm sustainably and about what to eat to be healthy and sustainable. To overcome this, we need a harmonised way to measure sustainability.’

Steven Lang, Partner at Systemiq and co-founder of Regen10, said, ‘Farmers are ready and want to be part of the solution, but they need payment for positive outcomes…and we need better data that sets out the problems and opportunities more clearly.’

Erin Fitzgerald, CEO of US Farmers and Ranchers in Action, said, ‘We need to start with farmers from the ground up… But it’s not enough to have a vision, we also need new forms of finance. With investment, we could become a handprint, not a footprint.’

Anne Meis, Chairwoman of US Farmers and Ranchers in Action, said, ‘Who better to talk about solutions than those with their boots in the soil every day. A common framework is what we need.’

Katie White, Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK, said, ‘We can’t tackle climate change without tackling the food system. How do we create a race to the top? How do we ensure that our trade system is not just allowing us to have more and more intensive farming? When we talk about the costs of doing something, we must couch that in the cost of not doing something.’

Launch of Regen10

This afternoon, 2nd November, an ambitious collective action plan to scale regenerative food production systems worldwide was launched at COP26. Regen10 is a broad alliance, including the Sustainable Food Trust, World Farmers Organisation, Eastern Africa Farmers Federation, Food & Land Use Coalition, World Bank Group, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), SYSTEMIQ, IMAGINE, We Mean Business Coalition, Future Stewards, OP2B and Club of Rome.

The initiative, with farmers at its heart, will work with over 500 million farmers to apply regenerative production methods and transform agricultural systems, as well as ensure roughly USD $60 billion per year is deployed to finance the transition. By 2030, it is hoped that over 50% of the world’s food can be produced in a way that drives positive outcomes for people, for nature and for climate.

Patrick Holden said, ‘The power of Regen10 to encourage government to act to include food and agriculture in the climate change agenda has never been more important. There is a major opportunity here to transition agriculture towards a system that works in harmony with nature, with crucial benefits for the climate. To support this transition, we need a Global Farm Metric that helps farmers to understand their impact, informs policymakers to support farmers in the right ways, and helps businesses and citizens to understand the sustainability of the food they buy.’