Idris, Sabrina Elba speak at UN on how climate change impacts farmers

The British actor and his wife advocate for small farmers during a COP26 panel on behalf of the International Fund for Agricultural Development

Actor Idris Elba and his model wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba spoke on behalf of small farmers at the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday.

The Elbas, ambassadors of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), appeared at a U.N. Climate Change Conference, or COP26, panel to raise awareness for farmers and advocate for support against the negative effects of global warming on their farms.

Idris Elba highlighted that small-scale farmers produce 80% of food consumed worldwide and called attention to the fact that farms need more access to fresh water.

“Think about what it’s like to be a farmer, working from dusk ’til dawn, and watching your entire year’s harvest wiped out because of, essentially, climate change,” the Golden Globe winner actor said. “And it is deeply unfair that the people who contribute so little towards climate change are the ones who bear the brunt of it.”

Actor Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina Elba speak to promote action for greener, fairer and more sustainable food systems on day seven of COP26 at SECC on November 06, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

“Every time we eat, we are making a conscious choice about the world that we want to live in,” Sabrina Dhowre Elba said. “If we don’t fix how we grow our food, and value the people who put food on our tables, the custodians of this earth, we won’t survive.”

The IFAD, founded in 1978, invests and empowers people in rural countries to help improve their food security and nutrition, according to the organization’s official website.

“Small-scale agriculture is central to our development model, which connects farmers and poor rural women and men to markets and services so they can grow more and earn more,” the site says.

Also on hand for the Saturday panel was climate justice activist Vanessa Nakate, who spoke on how climate change was impacting her native Uganda and that resources were needed there as well. She urged that world leaders cease investment in fossil fuels that have proven detrimental to the land that farmers use.

“The child going hungry at night matters,” Nakate said. “The mom who has to walk long hours to find water, to look for food for her family matters. The farmer who watches his fields wither and his family suffer matters.”

Climate activist Vanessa Nakate speaks during the Fridays For Future march on November 5, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Nakate was speaking on behalf of The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit climate change education and advocacy group. Founded in 2006 by former Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is a group of scientists, activists and cultural leaders running initiatives to raise awareness on building equitable solutions to combat climate change.

Also speaking at the panel was U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak.

“Farming has to be profitable to ensure that farmers have a decent standard of living and that new farmers are attracted to the profession,” Vilsak said.

The United States and the United Arab Emirates announced that they have reached a $4 billion agreement to invest in new technology for farmers. The two countries announced on Tuesday during COP26 that they were launching Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate, as reported by Reuters.

Over 30 countries are also backing AIM as well as 40 non-governmental organizations (NGO).