BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Nov. 3 announced the formation of an agriculture platform designed to address global sustainability and climate change in collaboration with the European Union (EU).
A joint statement from US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and his EU counterpart, Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski, said international collaboration to confront climate change and foster sustainability “is paramount to mitigating the harsh and difficult future that awaits us as a global society.”
The USDA’s statement highlighted global phenomena already affecting producer profitability “in deep and profound ways,” such as extreme weather volatility, severe drought, flooding and wildfires.
“We believe that science and innovation will bring about a more sustainable agriculture,” Vilsack and Wojciechowski said. “We must work together to devise systems and solutions that are good for agricultural producers, good for consumers, good for businesses, good for our communities, and good for our planet. This includes fair and open markets at the local, regional, and international levels that bolster food security and sustainable food systems.”
Vilsack and Wojciechowski issued the statement on the fourth day of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change conference at SEC Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, which is set to conclude Nov. 12. The platform, heralded as a new chapter of collaboration between the United States and the European Union, aims to exchange knowledge and information, and to promote mutual understanding and trust to address global challenges and achieve common goals. It will be administrated by the USDA and the EU Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development.
“We are reaffirming our mutual commitment to sustainable and climate-smart agricultural production, recognizing that we are both engaged in multiple, effective ways to achieve mutually desired outcomes,” Vilsack and Wojciechowski said. “The European Union and the United States are committed globally to enhanced and sustainable production, alleviating poverty and hunger, protecting our environment, and confronting climate change. This transformational initiative provides a platform for us to work cooperatively towards these goals.”