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 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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By Dr Elin RöösSwedish University of Agricultural Sciences & visitor at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford

"What role of grazing livestock in a world of climate change and diet-related disease?" was the overarching question being discussed at an event in Bristol last week organised by the Sustainable Food Trust (SFT).

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By Cecilia Schubert, Communications Officer (CCAFS) with significant contributions from Marieke Veeger and Joost Vervoort, both working for the Future Scenarios team.

Future scenario development and modeling approach helps further strengthen Honduras’ risk management and climate adaptation strategy.

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The Oxford Martin Future of Food Programme and The British Museum hosted a One Day Conference on the 23rd August 2018, at The Oxford Martin School, Oxford

The challenge of feeding an ever increasing population requires a whole food systems approach to agricultural and food security research, in order to deliver productive, resilient and sustainable food and farming. The environmental challenges posed by agriculture are huge, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, localised pollution, and water, forest, land and biodiversity loss. Conversely, climate change, water scarcity, rising global temperatures, and extreme weather will also have severe long-term effects on agricultural production. Archaeological, historical, and anthropological research are all underdeveloped resources in modern agricultural sustainability studies, but are tools well-suited to investigating food security and agricultural development over time under different challenges. 

 

(Image taken by Naomi Sykes)

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By Chase Sova.

Twenty years ago, negotiators from around the world came together in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The goal: to identify global principles for agricultural exchange. Export subsidies in the late ‘80s from industrialized economies like the United States resulted in the dumping of cheap agricultural products in developing countries, undermining local producers. These and other trends fueled efforts to correct growing inequalities in an increasingly globalized food system. Yet given food security’s central role in national security and an evolving belief in food security as a fundamental human right, an agreement on agriculture was slow to be reached.

Today, the world has come together again, and while the conversation has shifted toward the urgent need to tackle climate change, the same agricultural challenges remain.  Nearly 1 billion people across the world are food insecure or undernourished; populations continue to grow in sub-Saharan African (SSA) and South Asia; and food systems face severe impacts from a world that, on its current trajectory, is likely to be four degrees warmer than present averages.  At the Lima climate negotiations, however, the collective answer to the ‘agricultural question’ was, yet again, to avoid it altogether.

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Notes from Food Security Conference

By Hannah Rowlands.

April 27th was the 2nd Annual Oxford Student Food Security Conference. Around 70 people attended this 1-day conference, with presentations from 9 researchers, covering a wide range of issues on the topic of food security, plus animated discussions after each session. The day ended with an interesting and entertaining keynote talk by Professor Doug Gollin.

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