“Reverse the Polarity” of Financial Flows for Sustainable Food Systems – UNEP

The global food system transformation needed to avoid further biodiversity loss depends on increased efforts to “reverse the polarity of financial flows from public and private sources”, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), has told the World Food Summit 2022. “Global financing for nature and biodiversity is far below what we need. Annual governmental expenditures on harmful subsidies are up to four times higher than capital flows towards biodiversity conservation,” she said, adding that deforestation should be “a major focus” of financing activity. Andersen highlighted UNEP initiatives to support and develop deforestation-free value chains. The three largest sectors that depend highly on nature – construction, agriculture and food and beverages – stand to lose the most from ongoing destruction, she said, but also had the opportunity to participate in “a new nature economy” which could generate US$10 trillion in business value and create 395 million jobs by 2030. “For this reason, UNEP is partnering with the banking sector and countries to move capital towards sustainable agriculture and averting deforestation,” said Andersen, citing the commitment of a Dutch partner organisation to issuing US$1 billion in loans to farmers and corporate clients by 2025 through the AGRI3 Fund.

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