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The local food movement is one of the most active of current civil engagement social movements. This work presents primary evidence from over 900 documents, interviews, and participant observations, and provides the first descriptive history of local food movement national policy achievements in the US, from 1976 to 2013, and in the UK, from 1991 to 2013, together with reviews of both the American and British local food movements. It provides a US-UK comparative context, significantly updating earlier comparisons of American, British and European farm and rural policies.
This brief from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) shows that a third of countries involved in COP21 and who have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) have included targets for mitigating emissions from farming in their plans, but for developing countries such plans are conditional on receiving international financial support.
WHO has released a first set of Climate Change and Health Country Profiles that provide a snapshot of up-to-date information about the current and future impacts of climate change on human health. The Climate and Health Country Profile project is an ongoing initiative that supports interested WHO Member States in finalising country profiles through a country consultation process.
GreenFacts , a not for profit organisation, has produced a series of factual and unbiased summaries of key research synthesis documents prepared by scientific experts that focus on:
- the climate and its evolution ;
- the management of energy : sources, from fossil fuels to their various alternatives and carbon sinks.
You can see the various types of resources available here.
This new report “Planetary Health: Safeguarding Human Health in the Anthropocene Epoch” launched by The Rockefeller Foundation - Lancet Commission argues that changing environmental conditions such as increased carbon dioxide emissions, rampant use of fertilizer and the acidification of the oceans could lead to major health challenges for millions of people. Increasing population, unsustainable consumption and production and the over-exploitation of natural resources are also factors straining the planet's resources and having an impact on human health.
This is the first of a series of videos explaining the basic facts about climate change, its causes and consequences. It is produced by GreenFacts , an organisation dedicated to publishing accessible and peer-reviewed summaries of major international scientific documents independent experts.
This analysis from The Carbon Brief provides a useful summary of the Bonn Climate Talks in late August/early September 2015. Countries are said to have made progress on some key points and started to lay out the skeleton of the planned agreement. Still however, disagreement over many details remains profound. The meeting which closed on 4th September in Bonn in Germany, was the penultimate session of United Nations talks before the Paris climate conference this December, where countries are due to adopt a new global climate change agreement.
Tracking intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs): what are the implications for greenhouse gas emissions in 2030? is the title of a policy paper produced by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at London School of Economics and Political Science. Parties to the UNFCCC agreed to set out their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) at the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima, Peru, in December 2014. The policy paper, which is intended to inform decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors, considers whether the INDCs submitted so far are consistent with the 2°C limit.
In this comment piece in Nature, a group of researchers argue that putting a price on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to curb emissions must form the centrepiece of any comprehensive climate-change policy.
They point out that the current price of carbon remains much too low relative to the hidden environmental, health and societal costs of burning a tonne of coal or a barrel of oil. The global average price is below zero, once half a trillion dollars of fossil-fuel subsidies are factored in.
An international research project co-led by the University of East Anglia suggests that international agencies have overestimated Chinas carbon emissions for more than 10 years. The research team re-evaluated emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and cement production from 1950-2013 and their results suggest that China produced 2.9 gigatonnes less carbon between 2000-2013 than previous estimates of its cumulative emissions.
In 2007/8 world food prices spiked and global economic crisis set in, leaving hundreds of millions of people unable to access adequate food. The international reaction was swift. In a bid for leadership, the 123 member countries of the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security (CFS) adopted a series of reforms with the aim of becoming the foremost international, inclusive and intergovernmental platform for food security.
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.