Food & Agriculture

Stabilizing the climate and unlocking economic opportunity.
Thanks to the hard work of over 2 billion food and agriculture workers, the global food system has never been more productive and efficient. However, food and its production are causing growing and excessive risks to human health and the health of the planet by producing roughly one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Our Food & Agriculture Program

The ClimateWorks Food and Agriculture program advances opportunities to promote inclusive economic growth as we work to avoid these risks. From farm to fork, we are investing in a food system that aligns health, biodiversity, and economic and environmental benefits with international climate targets.

The program encompasses three initiatives: Inclusive Food Transitions; Healthy Diets, Healthy Planet; and Regenerative Agriculture. Food and agriculture are at the heart of the bioeconomy which is elemental to nearly every program at ClimateWorks. Activities include curbing air pollution from agricultural burning; combatting food loss and waste with cold chains; advancing land rights for smallholder farmers and forest-dependent people; disclosure of financial risks facing agribusinesses that fail to remove deforestation from their supply chains; making healthy food choices easier for consumers; charting a responsible course for bioenergy and biomaterials; and advancing nature-based strategies to create jobs, cool cities, and remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Inclusive Food Transitions

We are working to put food system transformation at the heart of the response to Covid-19 to work for a recovery that is safe, healthy, inclusive, and green. We are members of the Just Rural Transition, a consortium of organizations working to advance an inclusive future for food and agriculture, in line with international climate goals. Through diverse activities, including assessment, development assistance, stimulus, policy reform, and risk disclosure, we are building and scaling a food system that works for people and the planet.

Healthy Diets, Healthy Planet

In partnership with the Climate and Land Use Alliance, we are working to advance the consumption of protein sources that are healthier for people and the planet by engaging businesses, governments, and consumers on a set of actions that make healthy choices easier. Our work is global, with a focus on key geographies including the U.S., Europe, Brazil, and Asia.

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is often inspired by nature and often draws on beneficial services from ecosystems. Done well, it can simultaneously boost yields, remove carbon from the atmosphere, increase resilience, and unlock economic opportunity. To be regenerative, agriculture must achieve one or more of the following goals while doing no harm:

  1. Reduce inputs (e.g., replacing chemical fertilizers with legumes that supply crops with nitrogen from the air)
  2. Increase commercial outputs (e.g., switching to crops that are more nutritionally dense and profitable)
  3. Provide public goods (e.g., helping mitigate climate change by removing carbon from the atmosphere by adding trees to agricultural lands or by boosting on-farm biodiversity)
  4. Generate beneficial services to the farming system (e.g., management practices that improve soil health, thus increasing water retention, reducing irrigation demand, and boosting yields under drought)

By exploring this space, we are working to identify promising ways to scale up regenerative practices that contribute to climate goals. The work is global in scope — we see space for regenerative agriculture in capital markets, from smallholder cooperatives to Western rangelands, and from farm to fork.

Program Team

Avery Cohn

Avery Cohn

Program Strategist, Food & Agriculture

Mike Kent

Mike Kent

Program Manager, Food and Agriculture

Paula Swiatkowski

Paula Swiatkowski

Executive Assistant, Programs

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Climate change calls for coordinated global action. ClimateWorks empowers philanthropic donors with a range of strategies to help address the challenge.