A radical rethink is required
A radical rethink of the global food system is required to provide adequate food and nutrition in the continually changing climate. Curbing the carbon footprint of the agriculture sector itself will also be crucial to ensure that food supplies can stretch to feeding over 9 billion people by 2035. Unfortunately, the world’s crop producing lands are decreasing and degrading, with some forecasters predicting up to 20% production loss by 2050.
The effects of climate change are stunting the growth of vital staple crops across the globe. A projected 45% increase of in energy demand by 2030 and the need to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions will increase energy prices. This will impact directly on food supplies, through increasing running costs of agricultural machinery, processing plants and transport and indirectly through increased costs for energy intensive fertilisers and pesticides. Availability of some key inorganic nutrients (especially nitrogen, phosphate and potassium) will be an issue.
The UN states that 3.1 million children currently die each year as a result of undernutrition.