United in changing the global food system to feed the 9 billion


On Wednesday September 24th, global experts and thought leaders met at the UN headquarters for a landmark discussion on the interconnections between the world’s broken food system, climate change and the emerging public health crisis

At a time when all sectors of society must urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world needs new and holistic solutions. At this meeting, global leaders looked closer to home – at the food on our plates and how we produce it, and how it relates to some of the greatest health and environmental challenges facing humanity today.

The UN Climate Summit on September 23rd outlined eight action areas for mitigating climate change, out of which agriculture was one. The EATx event the day after highlighted the need for a more holistic Post2015 approach. In order to sustainably feed 9 billion in a health promoting manner, co-benefits and synergies for transforming the global food system towards healthier diets and more sustainable food system must be identified and exploited.

Translating ambitions and awareness into an agenda for action, more than 250 thought leaders, including representatives from UN organizations, academia, government, international agencies, business and civil society met to discuss concrete solutions to leverage healthy, sustainable diets for climate change mitigation, environmental protection and public health benefits.

The speakers and panelists were Børge Brende (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway), Dr. R. K. Pachauri, (Chair of IPCCP), Dr. Gunhild A Stordalen (Director of EAT ), Jeffrey D. Sachs (Director of The Earth Institute, Columbia University), Dr José Graziano da Silva (Director General, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization), Ertharin Cousin (Executive Director of the United Nations World Food), Connie Hedegaard (Commissioner for Climate Action, European Commission), Feike Sijbesma (CEO of DSM), George Chaponda (Minister of Foreign Affairs and International development of Malawi, Johan Rockström (Executive Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre), Shawn K. Baker (Director, Nutrition Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Olav Kjørven (Director for public partnerships, UNICEF), Dr. Frank Rijsberman (CEO, CGIAR), Sam Kass (Executive Director, Let’s Move!), Richard Horton (Editor in Chief, The Lancet) and moderator Michael Moss (Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist, the New York Times).

The EATx event was jointly organized by the EAT Initiative and Avatar Alliance Foundation and co-hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service and the Environmental Defense Fund.