The time for climate action is now!

Giorgia Pergolini
Nov 21, 2019 · 4 min read

As the UN’s annual Climate Change Conference kicks off in Madrid, Spain, the World Food Programme (WFP) highlights climate change as one of the key drivers of hunger.

What is COP?

The 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019, under the presidency of Chile.

These annual climate change conferences serve as the formal meeting of the UNFCCC parties to assess progress in dealing with climate change pursuing the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels; and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C, recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

Why is COP important for WFP?

Today, climate variability and extremes are among the key drivers of hunger. The number of hungry people has risen for the fourth year in a row, to 821 million worldwide. This is setting the fight against hunger back by more than a decade.

If global temperatures keep rising to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, an additional 189 million people could become more vulnerable to food insecurity.

The internationally agreed objectives of global climate action are fundamental in guiding WFP’s approach to protecting food security and nutrition in a warming world.

In line with the global policy processes governing the fight against hunger and climate change, WFP is supporting governments to fulfill international commitments and protect vulnerable communities and food systems in an increasingly uncertain and hazardous environment.

What is WFP doing at COP?

WFP’s goal at COP25 is to position the organization as a reliable partner to support governments in their national climate risk management efforts toward implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The WFP delegation will (i) participate in several discussions and events organized together with other UN Agencies, governments and the private sector to highlight the importance of addressing climate change to achieve food security; (ii) Share technical expertise on climate risk financing and management for those whose food security is increasingly affected by extreme weather events; (iii) Follow key negotiations workstreams to inform our climate interventions:(iv) Engage in bilateral meetings with partners attending COP as a major climate change hub; and(v) Engaged in international media coverage to share our messaging and priorities for climate action.

Dissemination of information on WFP’s climate action will take place through participation in side events, interviews with international media, articles, social media as well as through the Zero Hunger information booth shared with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). See here a list of WFP climate publications available at the Zero Hunger booth.

Senior and technical WFP staff will share their experience in side events oganized jointly with other UN agencies — including FAO and IFAD — and partners. Come and visit us!

Launch of the “2019 State of Climate Services, Agriculture and Food Security” report, 3 December, 15.30–16.30, WMO-IPCC Pavilion

This WFP co-authored report will be launched during the 1st week of COP on the occasion of Earth Information Day. Weather and climate services are vital for sustainable development and climate change adaptation. The benefits of investment greatly outweigh the cost, and yet the capacity to deliver and access these services is patchy and inadequate, according to the new report.

“Science and innovation in support of climate action for the poor and the vulnerable” (WMO, GFCS, AF, CCAFS, FAO, GCF, GEF, WB, GFDRR, WFP), Wednesday, 4 December, 13:15–14:45, Room 3

Bringing together both implementing and funding organizations, the side event will discuss how science and innovation can go hand in hand to achieve greater resilience, improve adaptation and development outcomes and, ultimately, reduce poverty through risk-informed actions at country level.

High-level Linking the Technological Innovation and Climate Change Actions for a World Free of Hunger, Malnutrition and Poverty” (FAO, IFAD, WFP) Thursday, 12 December, 11:30–13:00, Room 2

The special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC SR) highlights climate change impacts on food security and poverty. This event will showcase biodiversity-friendly examples of the adaptation, resilience and risk-reduction responses that can be undertaken to address climate change for a world free of hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

“Climate change and human mobility: responding to displacement and migration challenges” (IOM, UNHCR, ILO, OHCHR, UNDP, UNU, WFP, WMO) Thursday, 12 December, 18:30–20:00, Room 4

With increasing recognition of the importance of strengthening responses to displacement and human mobility related to the adverse effects of climate change, what effective, coordinated action can be taken by UN actors and their partners?

“Finance for adaptation and its effective delivery in rural areas” (WFP, IFAD, FAO) Thursday, 12 December, 18:30–20:00, Room 2

The event seeks to debate the future of climate finance in agriculture and to highlight the potential of innovative risk financing mechanisms in building climate resilience, calling for a shift from responding to disasters to managing risks.

For more information or to arrange an interview with WFP delegates, please contact

World Food Programme Insight

Insight by The World Food Programme