Only in the movies is the planet saved at a single stroke; disaster averted by a moment of collective action, embodied in an individual act of heroism; the clear resolution to the crisis prompting sufficient international sighs of relief to keep global wind farms employed for a week...
In the real world, of course, global geopolitics, national interests and historical and current notions of fairness are all reasons why climate change will not be solved in the same way (even if, given its very nature, it could be).
The current climate change conference taking place in Glasgow has been viewed as a triumph of international cooperation, a self-congratulatory responsibility-dodging exercise or a wholly predictable annual parade of self-interest, dependent on which narrative you prefer to follow.
It feels unfair and uncharitable to label COP 26 a failure in these terms. There will always be a feeling that more needs to be done, and sooner. The advocates of immediate and meaningful change to our approach to land use and agriculture campaign with science and good reason on their side.
However, the agreement of some key countries (e.g. Brazil, USA, India) to make commitments in adapting agriculture to meet the climate change challenge is vital, and should be considered as an important step in the right direction.
The Regen 10 initiative, announced by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) at COP 26, aims to work with 500m farmers to ensure that 50% of the world's food production is produced by regenerative farming by 2030. This would involve over 50% of the world’s agricultural land being adapted to reverse loss of biodiversity and reduce carbon in line with pledges agreed in Paris in 2015.
This is a genuinely important project not only in supporting the achievement of climate change targets, but in ensuring future food security. One thing that the IPCC, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Food Systems reports agree on is that there is no 'silver bullet', no 'one-size-fits-all' solution to issues of food security. Varying combinations of improvements to agricultural practices, innovations in biotechnology and changes in consumer expectations will need to be employed to suit the food environments of each region.
It is right that governments everywhere are reminded by their citizens of the urgent situation facing us, but for now, let's be grateful that they have made commitments to which they can be held.
It is not possible to keep 1.5 alive, halt and reverse nature loss, or deliver the Global Goals, unless we act now to radically transform food production systems