REPORT: Climate change threatens food security globally
On Thursday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—a global group of scientists convened by the United Nations to study our shifting climate—released a much-anticipated special report on climate change and land. In it, the panel concluded that cutting emissions from major polluters like factories and power plants won’t be enough to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. Land use and food systems have to change, too. And our current land use practices are making problems worse.
The report found that food production (including post-harvest activities like transportation) accounts for between 21 and 37 percent of greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans.
The scientists emphasize the need to manage land better if we want it to stay productive under increasingly harsh conditions. That means dramatically shifting the way we think about soil health, managing fertilizer inputs, water usage, and handling manure from livestock. They also recommend diversifying cropland, reducing food waste and transitioning to vegetarian or vegan diets.
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