Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Climate change effects on food production

The United Nations released a new report today that examines future food production. They say a quarter of food production will be lost due to climate change and water scarcity. Less food could be grown, but there will be over 2 million people added to the global population.

From this Reuters article explaining the report, Daniel Wallis details how the changes food production will effect the poor.

In a new report, it said a 100-year trend of falling food costs could be at an end and that last year's sharp price rises had driven 110 million people into poverty.

Prices may have eased from those peaks in many areas, but experts say volatility -- combined with the impact of the global economic downturn -- has meant little respite for the poor.

"We need to deal with not only the way the world produces food but the way it is distributed, sold and consumed, and we need a revolution that boosts yields by working with rather than against nature," said UNEP executive director Achim Steiner.

More than half the food produced worldwide today was either lost, wasted or thrown away due to inefficiencies, he told a news conference at a major U.N. environment meeting in Kenya.

"There is evidence within the report that the world could feed the entire projected population growth alone by becoming more efficient while also ensuring the survival of wild animals, birds and fish on this planet," Steiner said.

The UNEP's "Rapid Response Assessment," released on Tuesday, said world food prices were estimated to rise by 30-50 percent over the coming decades -- while the global population is seen climbing to more than 9 billion from nearly 7 billion.

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