Hurricane Sandy crashed into the northeast U.S. at the end of October, demonstrating the type of severe weather that climate change is expected to bring with increasing regularity. At the same time, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)—a Burness client—released two research papers looking at how feeding the world contributes to global warming, and how agriculture in particular needs to be revamped as climate change continues to worsen.
The total emissions footprint of global food production—which includes up to 17,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide—represents one- fifth to one-third of the greenhouse gases released by people on the planet. This figure includes every aspect of agriculture, pre-production, processing and distribution.
Many countries could make big cost savings by cutting these emissions, Bruce Campbell, CCAFS program director, told Reuters. "There are good economic reasons to improve efficiency in agriculture, not just to cut greenhouse gas emissions."