Can our agricultural and food systems meet the challenges of the fight against climate change? To learn more about the direction our production and consumption habits should follow, discover the point of view of Patrick Caron, Geographer at CIRAD* and Chairman of High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the CFS**.
Food transition and climate change: at the crossroads
If you’re wondering whether food is part of the problem or the solution when it comes to climate change, the answer is very simple: both! And I could stop there. But the links to be made are actually extremely complex and it would be interesting to take a closer look.
Taking stock of the effects of climate change at global level
Both farming reality and scientific observation demonstrate that climate change is already affecting crops. If we need any reminder of that, it is only necessary to point out how harvest dates have moved forward in France over the last century. Analyses conducted by many of my research colleagues and the resulting syntheses confirm this observation. This is an ongoing underlying trend that can be seen in many places across the planet. All this has definitely happened, and the effects will be accentuated if we do not change our modes of production and consumption now, without waiting for the predicted disasters: crop schedules have been profoundly altered and yields are being affected. Many studies are now available, predicting significant reductions in yields. Of course, these changes will not have the same form or the same intensity everywhere. Generally, the forecasts predict a much greater fall in yields between the tropics, in regions where the issues of food security are already the most acute and demographic growth and migratory processes are the most intense. Once the impacts of global warming have been assessed, it is necessary to act. To forecast the global consequences of these disruptions and develop appropriate solutions for each area.