We need to change the way we eat to avoid catastrophic climate change

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Experts warn that the impact of the climate crisis could put a third of the world’s crops at risk.

After nearly three decades of unforgiving fasting, climate summits have finally decided to sink their teeth into the planet’s food. It is estimated that food production is the largest source of human methane emissions and can reach 30% of all greenhouse gases (if agriculture and livestock are combined with land use and transportation). The other side of the coin is the severe impact of climate change, which could put a third of the world’s vegetation at risk.

To whet your appetite, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced on Sunday COP28 the “roadmap” for 2030, with 20 goals. Among them, cutting methane emissions from livestock farming by 25%the halving food waste, the sustainability of fishing farms and access to drinking water for the entire world population by the end of this decade.

The FAO left the petition for a meat tax (to reduce the consumption of protein of animal origin in industrialized countries), although this does not prevent the examination of future measures to tax the consumption of sugar and ultra-processed foods.

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“We must act to reduce hunger and at the same time stay under the limit of a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees,” declared the Peruvian. Maximum Bullfighter, economic director of FAO. “What is needed is to balance the global food production system.”

“We are facing a good beginning, but it will not take us to the destination we need,” he said. Ruth Davis, from the European Climate Foundation. “The world desperately needs a road map to a fairer, more resilient and sustainable food system.

The world desperately needs a road map to a fairer, more resilient, and sustainable food system

One of the ingredients so far missing from food plans is regenerative agriculture, which emphasizes soil recovery and soil fertility. A total of 134 countries have committed to promoting this and other innovations in food production, with an initial increase of 3,000 million euros in the Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action whichrepresent an appetizer for the start of COP28.

134 countries have signed They are responsible for 75% of food production emissions and represents 5.7 billion inhabitants. “We are facing a milestone in climate summits, but all these promises must be expressed in real policies,” he said. Esther Penunian, representing the 13 million members of the Asian Farmers Association. “More funding is needed to help small farmers, who produce a third of the world’s crop and are highly exposed to extreme weather.”

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“Land degradation is mainly due to poor agricultural practices,” he stressed. Alain Richard Donwahi, former Minister of Defense of the Ivory Coast, who last year chaired the COP15 on desertification. “Droughts have become both cause and effect. The situation is worsening faster than we thought, before reaching the 1.5 degree mark.”

Africa is, in fact, the continent most vulnerable to the impact of climate change on crops. Heat waves and heavy rains are also a serious threat to plants in the subtropics and the Mediterranean region. Although crop conditions may improve with rising temperatures in higher latitudes, countries such as the United Kingdom have also felt the effects this year, the with the worst potato harvest in recent history.

Climate change also has an impact on the shopping basket. According to the report from Energy and Climate Intelligence Unitthe combined effect of rising energy prices has resulted in an additional annual bill of 600 pounds (about 700 euros) for the average household in the British Isles.

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On the day dedicated to food at COP28, the great taboo continues to be the consumption of meat. Competing with oGlobalbyists, Dubai is filledGlobal representatives of industrial agriculture and the meat and dairy sectors, through groups such as the Glolab Dairy Platform or the Gobal Meat Alliance. It is estimated that the total number of food promoters exceeded 340 (three times more than a year ago).

“Any credible action to reduce emissions in the food sector requires a decrease in the total amount of meat and milk produced”Warned Nusa Urbancic, head of the Changing Markets Foundation. “The industry is afraid that this will happen, so it deploys all kinds of tactics to delay the inevitable.”

“It’s good that leaders finally recognize that we need to change the way we eat to avoid catastrophic climate change,” he concluded. Ruth West Scott, spokesperson for the Sustain group. “But in industrialized countries, the change most needed to cut emissions is a significant reduction in the production of meat and dairy products, as well as action on food waste. These two things must be prioritize national climate change commitprioritized