World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


World “woefully unprepared” for climate impacts on food

World “woefully unprepared” for climate impacts on food, warns Oxfam

Climate change could put back the fight against hunger by decades but our global food system is woefully unprepared to cope with the challenge, said Oxfam today (25 March).

The warning comes as governments gather in Japan to agree a major new scientific report, which is expected to show that the impacts of climate change on food will be far more serious and will hit much sooner than previously thought.

Oxfam’s briefing paper, “Hot and Hungry: How to stop climate change derailing the fight against hunger” analyses ten key factors that will have an increasingly important influence on countries’ ability to feed their people in a warming world.

Oxfam New Zealand’s Senior Policy Advisor Sarah Meads said that across all 10 areas, including international adaptation finance, agricultural investment, crop insurance, humanitarian aid and food stocks, Oxfam found serious gaps between what governments were doing and what they needed to do to protect our food systems.

“The results also show that while many countries – both rich and poor – are unprepared for the impact of climate change on food security, it’s the world’s poorest and most food insecure among them that are least prepared and most at risk,” Meads said.

In the Pacific region, climate change could cause production of sweet potato in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to decline more than 50 per cent by 2050, maize in Vanuatu and Timor Leste to decline by 6 - 14 per cent by 2050, and sugarcane in Fiji to decline by 7 - 21 per cent by 2070, which will also lead to a decline in exports of some of these items.

“World grain reserves are at historically low levels. If extreme or erratic weather wipes out harvests in key producing countries, food prices could skyrocket, triggering major food crises,” Meads said.

Meanwhile, women make up 43 per cent of the agricultural workforce in developing countries, but discrimination makes it hard for them to adapt to climate change. For example, women rarely own the land they farm, so it's hard to change their farming methods to deal with a changing climate.

Oxfam’s analysis also highlights that a number of countries such as Ghana, Viet Nam and Malawi are bucking the trend by taking action in areas such as social protection, crop irrigation and agricultural investment. This is helping them to outstrip countries such as Nigeria, Laos and Niger on food security, despite sharing similar levels of income and climate risk.

“In poor countries, climate change is the biggest threat to our chances of winning the fight against hunger. It could have grave consequences for the availability of food we eat, but the world is woefully underprepared for it,” Meads said.

Without urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, these impacts will become more serious. It is estimated there could be 25 million more malnourished children under the age of five in 2050 compared to a world without climate change – that’s the equivalent of all under-fives in the US and Canada combined.

“The New Zealand Government must aim for far deeper cuts in New Zealand’s emissions and scale up support to climate change adaptation programs in developing countries,” Meads said. “We can also play a leadership role in supporting a fair and ambitious global climate change framework in 2015 and tackling global hunger by prioritising support to small-scale food producers and doubling aid to food security by 2016.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation, due to be published on March 31, is expected to warn that climate change will lead to declines in global agricultural yields of up to 2 per cent each decade at the same time as demand for food increases by 14 per cent per decade. It is also expected to warn of higher and more volatile food prices - Oxfam estimates world cereal prices could double by 2030, with half of this rise driven by climate change.

While temperature rises of just 1.5 degrees will have serious impacts on our food system the IPCC is also expected to highlight a global temperature threshold of 3 - 4 degrees beyond which we will experience runaway global food crises – we are on track to reach this threshold in the second half of this century.

“Hunger is not inevitable,” Meads said. “If governments act on climate change, it will still be possible to eradicate hunger in the next decade and ensure our children and grandchildren have enough to eat in the second half of the century.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news