Talks today between FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal and European Commissioner for Climate Action, Frans Timmermans, focused on the need for food systems to be environmentally friendly and innovative while noting that to achieve this, concrete policies with the right incentives are key.
Qu reiterated the interest of FAO in the European Green Deal within the context of achieving sustainable food systems on a global scale. Achieving this, according to the FAO Director-General, requires more than just technical and digital solutions, but also key policy decisions and collaborative efforts between the environment and agriculture sectors, and that the European Green Deal represents a big step in this direction.
During today’s virtual meeting Timmermans and Qu said they would ask their teams to work closely together on preparing proposals for joint EU-FAO work on implementing the European Green Deal in pilot countries, protecting biodiversity, ensuring food security and decent incomes for farmers as well as making precision agriculture available.
This, they noted, could for example include the use of remotely sensed data for work aimed at helping to reduce the use of water and fertilizers and benefit from solar and wind power for digital green agriculture.
During the discussion, Timmermans stressed the importance of FAO as a valued partner for the EU and expressed his interest in strengthened collaboration in the framework of the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies. The European Commission’s Executive Vice President also mentioned the need to make the 2021 UN Climate Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow a success.
Both parties agreed to work further together to build sustainable value chains for smallholder farmers and on the provision of standards and best practices for sustainable food and agriculture.