Bezos Earth Fund Announces $57 Million for the Future of Food, Supporting Bold Action for Food Systems Transformation as Part of $1 Billion Commitment
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, December 1, 2023—The Bezos Earth Fund today called for a greater focus and commitment to transforming our food systems as countries signed a declaration announced at COP28 to better integrate food into their climate goals. The Earth Fund announced $57 million in food-related grants to tackle the dual threats of climate change and biodiversity loss, as part of its $1 billion commitment to tackling the food system’s impact on climate and nature. It will allocate the remaining $850 million by 2030 to support ambitious implementation of the emerging global agenda on food systems and climate.
“We cannot afford for food to be on the sidelines of climate and nature conversations any longer. Food is a victim, problem, and solution in the climate and nature crises, and we must raise its profile in the discussion,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. “We applaud countries raising their ambitions, prioritizing food in their climate goals, and urge them to go bigger and bolder. We need to do things differently to feed a growing global population without degrading the planet and now is the moment for action.”
The Bezos Earth Fund with 16+ other philanthropies also signed and announced a new philanthropic statement of action, committed to invest, advocate, and partner to tackle food security and sustainability in alignment with the Paris Agreement goals.
Food systems — the way we produce, process, package, ship, eat, and waste — contribute one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet they are underfunded and too often overlooked in climate discussions.
The $57 million announced is part of the Earth Fund’s broader food portfolio, supporting a range of innovations spanning from developing low-cost virtual livestock fencing to promoting plant-rich diets and alternative proteins.
Making Livestock More Sustainable ($30 million)
Together with the Global Methane Hub’s Enteric Methane R+D Accelerator, the Earth Fund is investing in a range of innovations to reduce methane emissions from livestock by as much as 30% in the next 10-15 years. Additional grants provide funding to identify and develop low-methane feed, low-methane cattle breeding, and using a wearable sensor to measure cow methane emissions.
“Time is of the essence if we are to have a meaningful impact on reducing emissions in this decade,” said Marcelo Mena, CEO of the Global Methane Hub. “Initiatives like the Accelerator, which concentrate efforts on the highest emitting sector of methane emissions, will advance important research and help create long-term solutions on methane reduction, as well as ensure food and economic security of local communities that participate, particularly in the Global South.”
Protecting the Brazilian Amazon by Limiting Deforestation ($16.3 million)
Grants are supporting groundbreaking plans from the State of Pará in Brazil to reach zero-illegal deforestation within the next three years by creating the world’s largest animal traceability system. Together with The Nature Conservancy, IMAFLORA, Earth Innovation Institute, Aliança da Terra, and other partners, we can trace meat, dairy, and leather to eliminate deforestation from value chains, and bring about forest-positive incentives for cattle farmers and ranchers.
Promoting Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices ($8.3 million)
In partnership with the Earth Rover Program, the Bezos Earth Fund is building knowledge of soil ecosystems through seismology to assess the potential of soil to sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide. With the Platform for Agriculture and Climate Transformation (PACT), the Earth Fund is helping ensure U.S. federal funding to reduce farmland methane emissions reaches farmers and ranchers that adopt climate-friendly agricultural practices.
Catalyzing Food Systems Transformation ($2.6 million)
The Earth Fund is supporting efforts to tackle food loss and waste in partnership with the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), establishing an alliance of countries working to transform food systems. Additionally, working with the think-and-do-tank Clim-Eat, we are identifying and nurturing bold technological innovations in food systems and convening key actors to accelerate their development and deployment.
“At COP28, it's time to turn pledges and commitments into action and funding for innovative food solutions and food systems transformation,” said Dr. Andy Jarvis, Director of Future of Food at the Bezos Earth Fund. “Food isn’t just having a moment in COP28 — it’s the start of real moment-um, and through the grants we are announcing we will deliver that.”
To learn more about the Earth Fund’s Future of Food work, click here.
A full list of the Bezos Earth Fund grants announced here:
- Global Methane Hub (US $5.1M), to support the Enteric Methane R&D accelerator to strengthen an ecosystem of research efforts on methane reducing technologies in cattle, including feed additives, breeding, and vaccine development.
- CGIAR (US $15.5M), a global research partnership for food security, to identify grasses and forages containing methane reducing compounds, and deploy them in high emitting livestock systems in the Global South to reduce methane production in cattle.
- The Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (US $4.5M) in Colombia, to further develop and produce a wearable sensing device for cows to automate individual methane measurement.
- The Earth Rover Program (US $4M), to develop sensors using seismology for soil carbon measurement.
- Platform for Agriculture and Climate Transformation (PACT) (US $4.3M), a U.S. network of scientists on climate-smart agriculture, to update best livestock and agriculture practices to ensure U.S. farmers and ranchers receive available federal funding to adopt low-methane technologies.
- Clim-Eat (US $1.5M), a think-and-do tank for food systems transformation, to further develop a first of its kind food systems dashboard that bridges the knowledge gap between the climate community and food tech innovations.
- Wageningen University (US $5M), to establish standard approaches and strategies for a concerted global effort to breed next-generation low-methane cattle.
- The Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) (US $1.085M), to facilitate a global coalition of international governments for food systems transformation.
- The Instituto de Manejo e Certificação Florestal e Agrícola (US $2.5M), to develop protocols for cattle producers and establishing a transition that incentivizes system adoption.
- The Nature Conservancy (US $8M), to work with public and private sector actors in Pará to put in place a state-wide animal-based traceability system, ensuring data access and reliability.
- The Earth Innovation Institute (US $2.5M) and Aliança da Terra (US $1M), to train actors in the farming sector in Pará on carbon markets and low emissions production practices.
- The University of Wisconsin — Madison (US $1M), through a project of the University of Wisconsin Foundation, to build a comprehensive, user-friendly data system that tracks meat and leather trade in the Amazon and informs best practices in traceability systems.
- Global Canopy (US $1.25M), to target strategic commodity market levers in China — the biggest import of Brazilian beef and soy — and Brazil, which will increase transparency and accountability to unlock greater ambition and action on cattle-related deforestation in the finance sector.
About the Bezos Earth Fund
The Bezos Earth Fund is transforming the fight against climate change with the largest ever philanthropic commitment to climate and nature protection. We’re investing $10 billion in this decisive decade to protect nature and drive systems-level change, creating a just transition to a low-carbon economy. By providing funding and expertise, we partner with organizations to accelerate innovation, break down barriers to success and create a more equitable and sustainable world. Join us in our mission to create a world where people prosper in harmony with nature.