Climate change

Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and the transport of food make up a significant proportion of global emissions, while climate change will impact food systems through increased drought, flooding and extreme weather events.

By Chase Sova and Andy Jarvis.

The role of agriculture has been the subject of serious debate at each of the last global climate change conferences. The most recent event, held in Poland this past December, offered no exception. Chants of “No agriculture, no deal” resonated along the Warsaw Stadium hallways, backed by a host of government, civil society and private sector actors.

Agriculture contributes to approximately 30% of total global green house gas (GHG) emissions when related deforestation and post-production steps are considered. Its treatment by the international community is thus of major consequence, both for mitigation and adaptation outcomes. Yet agricultural mitigation targets — and a binding agreement to back them — continue to be plagued by sticky issues around national security, terms of trade, and climate justice.

Most actors in the international arena have acknowledged the immediate and urgent adaptation needs of nearly 1.5 billion small-scale producers and have promised action. In fact, the world has become a testing ground for adaptation policies and projects in nearly all sectors.

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by Elisabeth van de Grift and Joost Vervoort

CCAFS Scenario team and partners help governments in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador plan under uncertainty.

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By Abrar Chaudhury.

Local planning offers farmers a viable opportunity to adapt to uncertain climate change. A new working paper explores two ongoing Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) initiatives in Pakistan and Nepal, to highlight the potential of South-South learning.

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By John Ingram, Food Systems Programme Leader, Environmental Change Institute, on the 'Climate Change, Global Food Security, and the U.S. Food System' report to which he contributed:

It is well recognised that climate change poses considerable risks to global food production: IPCC AR5 and many other analyses detail where, by how much and to what types of production system given degrees of climate change will have impact. There are, however, fewer analyses of the challenges facing the food system as a whole. While disruptions to production are clearly important, climate change – and extreme weather in particular – will impact many of the food system’s ‘post-farm gate’ activities and hence food security; food security depends on more than just food production. For instance, damage to food transport and storage infrastructure due to storms and floods causes local shortages, affecting food affordability and variety. Temperature and humidity changes can lead to numerous food safety issues, and hence both health considerations and food waste, the later also affecting availability. Consumer behaviour can also change, leading to changes in diets and hence nutrition.

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By Abrar Chaudhury and Chase Sova.

Adaptation fund distribution is falling short, but the climate system in northern Ghana isn't waiting. Farmers are taking action in to their own hands while policymakers and development practitioners attempt to bridge the gap between funding sources and vulnerable communities.

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By Thomas White, University of Cambridge

 

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By Professor Mike Hamm, C. S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University (MSU) & visiting fellow of Mansfield College, University of Oxford.

In this blog-post Visiting Fellow, Mike Hamm, critically considers the environmental sustainability of vertical- and indoor farming.  In particular, he explores and challenges claims that fully indoor production systems can provide a significant source of food for urban areas at low carbon cost.  Ultimately, he argues that there are a number of other urban and peri-urban food growing options that offer greater potential, and deserve more policy attention and support.

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By Hannah Rowlands.

We were honoured to have Professor Susan Jebb present our first annual lecture on November 27, 2013.

Professor Susan Jebb is a nutrition scientist, but recognises that dietary advice for consumers needs to optimise health within the constraints of a sustainable food supply.

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Are lower carbon diets healthier? Adam Briggs explains new research to model the effects of taxing greenhouse gas-intensive foods.

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By Cecilia Schubert, Communications Officer and Joost Vervoort, CCAFS Scenarios Officer

Scenarios work makes headway as it now informs climate, agriculture and socio-economic development policies across seven countries.

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