Accelerating Action and Opening Opportunities

A Closer Integration of Climate and Nutrition


2023 I-CAN Baseline Assessment

The Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition (I-CAN) is a multistakeholder, multi-sectoral global flagship program

Launched by Government of Egypt at the “Adaptation and Agriculture” thematic day at COP27

Core partners include WHO, FAO, UN-Nutrition secretariat, GAIN and SUN

Formally hosted as a climate and nutrition working group under the Alliance for Transformative Action for Climate and Health (ATACH) co-chaired by the Government of Egypt and GAIN.

Our food systems are harming the health of people and planet



It is likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century



As many as 828 million people are undernourished

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The impact of malnutrition in all its forms is estimated to be US$3.5 trillion each year

Breaking down the I-CAN Baseline Report Findings

The I-CAN baseline report aims to provide a snapshot into the current state of integration between climate and nutrition. Across the board, we see low levels of climate-nutrition integration within action, data capacities, policy and strategy, and finance. However, there are many opportunities where climate and nutrition can be closer integrated to accelerate win-win benefits in both domains. I-CAN strives to further advance actions in this area.


The intersection of climate and nutrition action is rich with opportunity to accelerate advancement in both outcomes.  For the first time an evidence based report shines a light on those opportunities for decision makers in government, development agencies and the private sector.

As we approach COP28 a new landscape of opportunity to advance climate and nutrition action has been revealed. We must seize these opportunities for people and planet.

Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN

Climate policy commitments rarely consider nutrition

For the I-CAN baseline report, we have developed a methodology where 4 classification levels are used to determine the degree of integration between climate and nutrition. These classification levels are used across a range of indicators (where applicable) and are designed to be action-oriented progressing toward the higher levels.

4 classification levels used throughout analysis to determine the degree of integration between climate and nutrition. These classification levels are used across a range of indicators (where applicable) and are designed to be action-oriented progressing towards the higher levels. Levels are used across a range of indicators (where applicable) and are designed to be action-oriented progressing towards the higher levels. Level of integration between climate and nutrition Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition (I-CAN) No intentional connectedness between climate and nutritionNo linkages between climate and nutrition are found Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Some intention to connect climate and nutritionSome analysis into linkages, with the understanding that climate affects nutrition and vice versa, e.g., acknowledging climate change decreases crop yields wich worsens nutritional outcomes Intention to mobilise resources to connect climate and nutritionClear statement that climate-nutrition outcomes should be improved and is an objective, with some context on plans, policies or programmes to target this Commitment to mobilising resources and with distinct plans to take action to connect climate and nutritionIn-depth plans targeting objectives to improve nutrition and climate, with context on execution .g., funding, timeline, baseline, targets, lead agencies

Integration of Nutrition into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) (% of total, N=162*)

27 EU countries submitted a joint NDC which we have counted as 1 NDC in this analysis

Chart 1

NDC Levels by Region (% of total region, N=162)


Integration of Nutrition into Climate National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) (% of total, N=43)

Chart 3

Integration of Climate into National Nutrition Plans (NNPs) (% of total, N=50)

Chart 4

Finance Appears to be Lagging Behind Policy Commitments


Limited Evidence of Climate Integration in Other Nutrition Action Areas

Global Nutrition Report (434 commitments analysed)

  • 95% of commitments did not include climate considerations
  • Only 1% of commitments directly targeted climate improvement

Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDGs) (70 countries analysed)

  • 54% of FBDGs did not consider climate or sustainability
  • Only 11% of FBDGs recommended eating climate-friendly foods with
    clear examoles of how to do so

Public Food Procurement (93 countries analysed)

  • 83% of countries did not factor climate into public food procurement nutrition-related policies (e.. in school meals and feeding)
  • Only 7% of countries included one or more mandatory sustainability requirements in public food procurement nutrition-related policies

(GNR Commitments Source: Global Nutrition Report NAF Commitment Tracker, version as of April 2023)
(FBDGs Source: FAO FBDG Database, versions as of July 2023)
(Public Food Procurement Nutrition-Related Policies Source: WHO GINA database, version as of June 2023)


What are the applications of the I-CAN baseline report findings towards improving climate and nutrition outcomes?

First, the report identifies opportunities for countries, businesses, and development agencies to improve integration of climate and nutrition action to spur acceleration in the outcomes of both. For example, many initiatives target food and agriculture broadly, which could be leveraged to include more explicit considerations of nutrition.

Second, there are bright spots with certain countries, businesses and agencies leading the way. The NDC of Benin, the Climate NAP of Bangladesh, and the NNP of Ethiopia are all best practices included in the I-CAN baseline report. Cross-learning and information sharing will go a long way towards integrated climate and nutrition advancements.

Third, the actions that serve to accelerate climate and nutrition need to become better understood and socialised. FAO’s I-CAN paper, Climate Action and Nutrition: Pathways to Impact, highlights four core systems: agri-food, water, social protection, and health, where opportunities to further advance climate-nutrition integration exist.

Fourth, there were many challenges in collecting the baseline data. For example, an area which we could not assess includes the amount of agriculture research and development funding that links climate and nutrition. We hope that methods for collecting integrated climate-nutrition data will be improved and hence enhance data availability in the future.

Fifth, we very much hope that individual countries will use the baseline to set their own targets for some of these indicators. All country-level data used in our analysis are available upon request. Tracking of indicators towards targets will help governments assess progress and identify areas where more support can be brought to bear.

2030 is drawing close. Time is of the essence as we strive to achieve the SDGs, aiming to eliminate hunger and malnutrition whilst ensuring positive impacts for climate action and our natural environment. With sustained and combined efforts, closer integration between climate and nutrition is possible, and will have positive impacts on the lives of millions around the world – today and tomorrow.

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Catherine Lok


With thanks to

Scaling Up Nutrition