Showing results for: Climate policy
A new paper published in Environmental Science and Technology finds that measures to mitigate agricultural GHG emissions potentially risk increasing global hunger more than the impacts of climate change on crop yields itself. The study draws upon global models to quantify: a. the impact of climate change on yields in the absence of mitigation, b. the impact of bionergy production (as one mitigation measure) on competition for land and associated food prices and c. finally, the costs associated with mitigating the impacts of climate change by introducing a carbon tax. Introduction of this tax is assumed to lead to increase in use of renewable fuels (wind, power, geothermal, bionenergy) and ‘abatement from non energy sources’ – which presumably includes agriculture although they do not specify what sort of abatement this would be.
In a survey carried out by the International Trade Centre, ITC exporters reveal widespread concerns about reduced competitiveness due to climate change. Based on surveys of exporting firms in both Peru and Uganda, the new publication, Climate Change and the Agri-Food Trade: Perceptions of Exporters in Peru and Uganda, identifies threats arising from climate change and seeks to develop solutions to help the agriculture sector adapt. The publication concludes that climate change makes existing challenges in the agri-food sector even more difficult to overcome, and argues that it is already having a highly negative impact on competitiveness.
The 2015 World Health Day took place on April 7th, and it focused on the theme of Food Safety. With this day in mind, the Global Climate and Health Alliance has published a new briefing paper on climate change and food safety.
Due to the large share of non-CO2 GHGs in emissions from livestock production, the choice of GHG metric used to compare emissions of different GHGs is crucial, both in order to assess the aggregate contribution of the livestock sector to climate change and for highlighting hot-spots in the animal food chain where emission reductions can be most cost-effectively made.
This report sets out new climate change projections for Australia. It was produced by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and funded by the Australian Government Department of the Environment, CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The key findings from the report are copied as follows:
This paper, Short-Lived Climate Pollution, published in Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, argues that since carbon dioxide has the longest living effects of all climate pollutants, remaining in the atmosphere for thousands of years, it should be the primary focus of global climate change mitigation efforts.
A top China government advisor said at a recent Beijing conference that China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter will limit its total emissions for the first time by the end of this decade. The Chair of China's Advisory Committee on Climate Change said that an absolute cap on emissions will be introduced sometime within the next five years. Although the advisor later stated that these were only his own opinions, commentators expressed a cautious optimism about the statement.
This study in BioScience compares coverage of biodiversity and climate change in newspapers, scientific articles, and research funding decisions, and finds that climate change eclipsed biodiversity loss as a priority in the mid-2000s.
New official data from the European Union shows a 19.2 % reduction on GHG emissions on 1990 levels, suggesting that the union is within reach of its target to reduce emissions by 20% until 2020. Emissions fell by 1.3 % between 2011 and 2012, largely due to reductions in transport and industry and a growing proportion of energy from renewable sources. Italy alone accounted for 45 % of the total EU net reduction in emissions in 2012, largely due to lower emissions from transport and industry.
Africa has been thought to be a potentially large carbon sink of great value in efforts to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. But this study reveals that it could be a net source of greenhouse gases that will increase global warming.
The long awaited Working Group II report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Round was released on March 31st 2014. This report details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks.
GreenFacts has produced a summary of the “Physical science basis” of climate change, which is the first part of the new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The international research team behind this article calls for an increased climate policy focus on reducing ruminant meat consumption. They argue that climate negotiations thus far have paid too little attention to the role of livestock when discussing greenhouse gas mitigation. Methane from ruminants is the largest human-related source of the greenhouse gasses. As such, reducing ruminant populations is the most effective way to cut methane emissions and would also reduce CO2 emissions resulting from forest clearance for livestock farming. The livestock sector as a whole contributes around 14.5 % of all human-caused GHGs according to the latest FAO report) – a figure that includes overall GHG emissions, not just methane.
This FAO key note presentation was given by Andrea Cattaneo at the 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change, held in South Africa in December 2013.
This paper, which looks at the impact of agricultural intensification on soils across Europe, suggests that differences in the intensity of land use significantly affects soil ecosystems and the services they provide. High intensity arable land use is found to a have lower diversity and biomass of soil organisms than lower intensity arable or permanent grassland, and that this affects the carbon and nitrogen cycles in the environment.
In this guest-blogpost on the SIANI website, Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank, contributes with a piece on the UN climate talks in Warsaw, Poland and the lack of progress made in getting agriculture on the agenda. She also reflects on the potential for climate-smart agriculture and in particular the opportunities for an Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture to forge consensus and collaboration in this area.