You Know It’s Bad If Prince Charles Set the Tone at UN World Food Systems Pre-Summit in Rome
July 31, 2021 (EIRNS)—Representatives from 100 nations gathered in person or online for the July 26-28 Rome World Food Systems Pre-Summit, co-hosted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Italy, this year’s G20 chair country, at which the world famine crisis barely ranked as a discussion topic. The persistent theme, stated by Prince Charles, was that “systems” of eating and farming must be developed to save the Earth. People are secondary, and too numerous. The Summit proper will be held in New York City at the time of the September UN General Assembly, though no date and details are yet available.
Prince Charles addressed the closing session of the Pre-Summit in an 8 minute pre-taped video, along with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Charles said, “The global food system is also responsible for more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, so how we produce, market and consume food has a big impact on the Earth’s capacity to sustain us.” He made a big point of too much land use going for producing food. “Roughly half of all the habitable land on Earth is now used for agriculture.” He made a big pitch for regenerative farming to improve soils, and held a press briefing in England on this a week before the Rome event. “In the last 50 years alone, more than a third of our farmable soil has been destroyed or degraded by human activity,” he told the conference. He tut-tutted against ‘Big Agribusiness,’ but focussed on Mother Earth.
“Planet-positive business models recognize their responsibilities by embodying concepts of land stewardship. To accelerate these efforts, at the beginning of this year I published the ‘Terra Carta’ as a recovery roadmap for Nature, People and Planet. And, last month [at the G20 leaders in England], I launched ten transition coalitions of willing and able companies, together representing over $60 trillion in assets under management, which aim to help global industries accelerate their transitions and scale-up investments using genuinely sustainable approaches.
“As the Terra Carta makes clear, first and foremost any better models in food production must recognize that the soil and biodiversity are the planet’s most important renewable resources. The approach must therefore be one that does not exceed the carrying capacity of ecosystems at multiple scales, from the local to the global, nor destroy their biodiversity. It must enhance soil fertility and thus, globally, help to capture some 70% of the world’s carbon emissions.”
He called for green business models and investment, referring to his own leadership in this, at the June G20 Ministerial meeting in England.
The format of the Rome event was in line with Klaus Schwab’s January book, Stakeholder Capitalism, which has gooey talk about how everyone from the poorest serf, to London’s boardrooms, are all stakeholders together. So the Rome event had super-duper inputs from youth, women, various genders, big and little farmers, the elderly, ritzy chefs, soup kitchen operators—a stakeholders jamboree.
Guterres himself spoke, identifying that “Poverty, income inequality and the high cost of food continue to keep health diets out of the reach of some 3 billion people,” but the conference activity in no way has been geared to do something serious about it. World Food Program Executive Director, gave a strong address.
Charles has been holding forth with his royal message for “sustainable, organic” food for a long time. In 2012, he put out a little 46-page book, On the Future of Food, published by Rodale Press in the U.S., which is an alt-food operation. The Foreword was by U.S. rural romantic poet Wendell Berry.