Global warming threatens food security to a significant extent, a United Nations human rights expert has warned in a statement released on Tuesday, October 3.
The report has set off alarm bells regarding the implications of climate change on the world population’s nutritional well-being. It was issued by Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, and presented on October 23, to the UN General Assembly.
According to the expert’s estimations, an additional 600 million people will face malnutrition by 2080, as a direct consequence of global warming.
As Elver explained, climate change will manifest itself through an unprecedented rise in sea levels and average temperatures, as well as through much more disruptive and frequent instances of extreme weather, including flooding and droughts.
All these elements will put significant pressure on aquaculture, commercial fishing, livestock farming, crop cultivation and harvesting.
As a result, the world population’s ability to access food and to ensure even basic sustenance will be under major threat, unless preemptive initiatives are undertaken immediately.
“Those who have contributed the least to global warming are the ones set to suffer the most from its harmful effects”, cautioned the Special Rapporteur.
Elver also outlined the fact that responding to this food crisis by increasing production isn’t the best course of action, since agriculture still needs to be conducted in a sustainable manner, so as not to damage the environment even further.
Instead, novel approaches based on ecological principles and local farming should be preferred, focusing on promoting food democracy.
This concept has been gaining ground in recent years, and refers to the fact that every human being should have the right to safe and plentiful nutrition, which has been produced while preserving and protecting water, soil and other components of the ecosystem.
As Elver has said, urgent action is essential now, in order to combat the effects of climate change, through a series of adaptation and mitigation measures.
Adaptation involves adjustments made in natural or human systems in order to react to global warming, by limiting damaging consequences, and by exploring opportunities that arise.
Its complementary strategy, known as mitigation, refers to efforts undertaken to stop or at least reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with a view to diminish the extent of climate change.
The recommendations come in advance of the 2015 Conference of Parties, scheduled to take place in Paris from November 30, until December 11.
The aim of this international event, which is expected to attract 50,000 participants, including 25,000 officials, is to achieve a universal agreement on climate, based on the cooperation of more than 190 countries.
Negotiators plan to decide on a series of strategies, so that global warming can be kept below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Revolutions levels, by the end of the century.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food has declared that these measures should be taken while taking into account climate justice, and the need to provide food security for the entire world’s population.
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