Undertaken by David Lobell (Stanford University), Wolfram Schlenker (Columbia University) and Justin Costa-Roberts (National Bureau of Economic Research in New York), new research reveals how agricultural production has already been hit by climate change.
It reveals that, higher temperatures can affect pollination, crop yield through dehydration, and slower photosynthesis.
Commenting on the report, published in Science magazine, Sean Roberts, policy director at the Food Ethics Council said:
“This report shows how uncertainty over the future undermines our ability to make the necessary investments now.
“It’s a message we are increasingly hearing from food businesses – that there’s an urgent need for government leadership in plotting our path towards a sustainable food system.
“But we can’t attempt to address these profound environmental challenges without also addressing social injustice.
“The government can, and should, have a leading role in tackling the impact of our food system on society, from making sure farmers – particularly small-scale producers – are allowed more say in research that is done in their name, to bringing down global food price volatility by strengthening financial regulation to limit speculation on the price of food.
“They should be leading the debate in redefining the meaning of affordable food. Everybody, including consumers, will have to recognise that ‘cheap’ comes at an environmental and social cost that hits the poorest in society.”
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