COP26 Live Event

Investing in Climate-Smart Food Systems

October 20213 min readSustainable Food, Climate FinanceAgriculture, Blended Finance

responsAbility and CGIAR are partnering to identify concrete approaches for mobilizing capital to transform food systems to become low-carbon and climate resilient. The partnership reveals that science-based researchers and asset managers can work dynamically together in order to unlock the public and private funds needed for the transformation of food systems in a climate crisis. Establishing the  first science-based impact fund targeting food systems transformation  will help to showcase how we can feed a growing population within the planetary boundaries. This innovative, science-based, blended-finance fund targets the following themes from the COP26 agenda:

  • 2 - Agriculture, Water, Forests & Land Degradation

  • 7 - Finance

  • 9 - Gender & Climate


Today’s food systems generate USD 12 trillion in hidden social, economic and environmental costs, but are valued at only USD 10 trillion. This negative balance is explained mainly by the adverse impact on climate, biodiversity and the society. As the global population grows to hit 10 billion by 2050, these costs are only expected to widen. Simply put, the status quo is no longer affordable.  The good news is that unlike other carbon-intensive industries, the solution is found in the same food system, and there is a growing interest from investors and companies in meeting the increasing demand for healthier, more equitable and more sustainable food.  The business community agrees that the potential market for this endeavour is large, profitable, and grossly underfunded. According to estimates, USD 350 billion per year of investment is needed to transform the global food system and unlock USD 4.5 trillion in new business opportunities per year. Investors and entrepreneurs are not only flocking to develop the next alt protein or vertical farming solution, but they are also seeking less “futuristic” and equally needed innovation. Much of this is taking place in the developing world, where climate change will affect the rural poor and could trigger the migration of 216 million people.

The event:

Join responsAbility and CGIAR for this in-person event on Wednesday 3rd November from 15.30 - 17:00 GMT hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco and the AAA Foundation at the Morocco Pavilion on the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in the heart of Glasgow, UK. The event will bring a range of perspectives on mobilizing capital and investments for food systems, from large scale government programs like the CSA Investment Plans, to private sector led initiatives on impact investing. The discussions will highlight key entry points for synergies between the public and the private sector in order to fast track the sector’s transformation.

Moderator: World Resources Institute – Edward Davey, International Engagement Director, Food and Land Use Coalition

Keynote speaker: CGIAR - Kundhavi Kadiresan - Managing Director, Global Engagement and Innovation Panelists:

  • responsAbility – Mauricio Benitez, Sectorial Specialist, Food Systems

  • Gold Standard – Felicity Spors, Head of Sustainable Development Finance

  • AAA Initiative – Riad Balaghi, Director of Projects

  • Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT/CGIAR – Godefroy Grosjean, Global Leader Advisory Services for Climate Action

  • Food Systems for the Future - Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, President and Co-Founder of Food Systems for the Future

  • Alliance Bioversity and CIAT/CGIAR – Juan Lucas Restrepo – Director General Alliance Bioversity and CIAT/Global Director Partnership and Advocacy CGIAR