A hot planet threatens food and water more than realized, IPCC says

12 Août, 2019, 00:27 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Harvesting in Xinjiang northwest China

Already, 500 million people on the planet live on lands turning into desert, according to the report, produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an worldwide group of scientists convened by the United Nations.

"The report highlights that climate change is affecting all four pillars of food security: availability (yield and production), access (prices and ability to obtain food), utilization (nutrition and cooking), and stability (disruptions to availability)". The report will demonstrate how human activity has resulted in significant land degradation, deforestation, the endangering of animals by the destruction of natural habitats, as well as food and water insecurity.

Threats of global warming can not be tackled by cutting emissions from fossil fuels alone but also by adopting sustainable farm practices, plant-based food habits and better land use, observed a United Nations body - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - in its special report on climate change and land on Thursday. Land has a critical role to play in carbon dioxide removal, he emphasized.

Globally, more than 70% of the land surface is used to satisfy people's needs.

The report recommends that to stop these food shortages, countries begin taking initiatives for reforestation and reducing food waste.

The warming lowers the nutritional quality of the food we grow and reduces water supplies at the same time that global population is expected to top 10 billion people by midcentury. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking and property rights. "We have to urgently roll out sustainable farming practices, many of which can be profitable in three to five years".

Reducing meat consumption and eating more plant-based foods like vegetables and fruit would help curb climate change, as would reducing the roughly one-third of food that is lost or wasted.

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This is particularly important because the report raises serious concerns about how climate change will harm food security.

The paper is viewed as a key contribution to global negotiations on climate and environmental issues and is expected to be cited in September in India, at the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14), and in December in Chile at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP25). "We have social security systems so relatively few people starve here", he said.

Individuals can take action, the authors said.

It spelled out the need for drastic greenhouse gas emissions cuts achieved partly by a near-immediate fall in fossil fuel consumption.

There are plenty of obstacles to adopting the report's suggestions around food. Science can help politicians develop informed policies that will support ordinary people to prepare, act and create more positive pathways to the future.

The science is conclusive: in the US public land management must be part of our climate solution.

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