Join us for a UN Food Systems Summit side-event

Find out how to connect research and innovation with the global partnerships that transform food systems for a climate-smart future.

This side-event to the UN Food Systems Summit (taking place on 23 September) is hosted in partnership between CCAFS, the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Columbia Climate School.


The agricultural sector is not on track to support goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. It's estimated that current agricultural technologies and practices can only deliver less than half of the emissions reductions required from the sector.

An 'innovation gap’ exists in spite of considerable investment into agricultural innovation to achieve food security and enhance the resilience of more than half a billion smallholder farmers on the frontline of climate change.

This is a make-or-break year to secure meaningful commitments in addressing the climate crisis and putting our food systems on a sustainable path before it's too late.

A key part of such a transformation will need a step change in agricultural innovation to support ambitious action. But how can stakeholders across the food system join forces to ensure agricultural innovation contributes to climate mitigation and adaptation and support more resilient communities?

The Climate Group has selected the Columbia Climate School as its university partner for this year’s Climate Week NYC. Running September 20-26, Climate Week NYC convenes key climate leaders to accelerate climate action and discuss ambitious commitments ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, later this fall in Glasgow.

This UN Food Systems Summit side-event and part of the official program of Climate Week NYC will debate an emerging ‘Action Agenda for Innovation in Agriculture’ (aka the #ClimateShot)

The event is hosted by CCAFS, the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Columbia Climate School

Explore all CCAFS research, analysis and events in support a successful UN Food Systems Summit



ClimateShot – The agricultural innovation race to save our planet 




15:00 - 15:10

Welcome and context setting 

Alex N. Halliday, Founding Dean, Columbia Climate School and Director, Columbia University's Earth Institute - tbc

15:10 - 15:20

Opening presentation

Setting the scene for the UN Food Systems Summit on the challenges and strategic priorities for agricultural innovation. 

Sean de Cleene, Head of Food Systems Initiative, World Economic Forum and Chair of the Innovation Lever, UN Food Systems Summit

15:20 - 15:45

Fishbowl style panel - four minute statements 



Bruce Campbell, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)


  • Patrick O. Brown, CEO and Founder, Impossible Foods 

  • Ishmael Sunga, Chief Executive Officer, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions

  • Walter E. Baethgen, Senior Research Scientist, IRI, and Co-Director, Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems Network 

  • Leselle Karen Vincent, MPA in Development Practice, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

  • Tina Latif, Director of International Relations, Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change

15:45 - 16:05

Moderated discussions with audience and Q&A 

16:05 - 16:15

Closing and way forward

Victoria Prentis, Minister for the Environment, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)