Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Political economy

21 November 2013

IFPRI (the International Food Policy Research Institute) has released an issue brief on genetically modified crops in sub-Saharan Africa and their role in agricultural development. The report argues that many policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa lack information about GM crops’ potential, benefits, costs, and safety.

6 November 2013

A video recording of Al Gore's public lecture for the Oxford Martin School is now available on the Oxford Martin School website here.

In his lecture Gore outlined the challenges presented in his latest book, ‘The Future’, ranging from climate change and wealth inequality to biotechnology and the loss of jobs to automation.

Additional events arranges by the Oxford Martin School can be found here

1 November 2013

This paper published  in Journal of Environmental Planning and Management discusses the idea of  using surplus food redistribution to reduce food waste. It concludes that unless a distinction is drawn between genuine waste to be recovered and surplus to be redistributed for community benefit, surplus food as a resource is unlikely to be fully utilised.

7 October 2013

This book discusses the implications of the financial credit crunch for consumers and food spending. The authors argue that the credit crunch is having an impact not only on short term food prices but also on the sustainability of the food system.  The economic changes we experience now are said to have a bearing on our ability to manage the environmental credit crunch that looms. The authors conclude that a significant and positive difference could be made by changing some of the ways in which we procure, prepare, and consume our food.

17 September 2013

This book focuses on the food security in India, arguing that the challenges India faces have particular significance worldwide. It says that India’s chronic food security problem is a function of a distinctive interaction of economic, political and environmental processes. It says that a well-rounded appreciation of the problem is required, informed by the FAO’s conception of food security as encompassing availability (production), access (distribution) and utilisation (nutritional content), as well as by Amartya Sen’s notions of entitlements and capabilities.

17 September 2013

The Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) Climate Mitigation Task Force has released a report which looks at where there might be a need for research activity on geoengineering. The report is a joint production between the Met Office Hadley Centre, University of East Anglia/Natural Environment Research Council and University of Exeter.

21 May 2013

This book offers a broad introduction to food policies in the United States. Real-world controversies and debates motivate the book’s attention to economic principles, policy analysis, nutrition science and contemporary data sources. It assumes that the reader's concern is not just the economic interests of farmers, but also includes nutrition, sustainable agriculture, the environment and food security.

21 May 2013

Beginning in 2007, the world has suffered three rounds of high food prices. These crises were caused by a variety of factors—from extreme weather events to civil conflict—but poor policies by affected countries exacerbated the problem, according to an expert on the subject who spoke at IFPRI last week.

8 May 2013

Audit and tax advisory company KPMG has reported on the findings of its first Green Tax Index.  This was created by KPMG to increase awareness of the complex, fragmented and rapidly evolving green tax landscape worldwide. It aims to encourage companies to explore the opportunities of green tax incentives, and to reduce exposure to green tax penalties. The tool analyses green tax incentives and penalties in 21 major economies, focusing on key policy areas such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, carbon emissions, green innovation and green buildings.

8 May 2013

This report looks at the role of consumption based emissions (i.e. taking into account emissions embedded in imported goods) in contributing to the UK’s overall carbon footprint. It covers past trends and sets out future scenarios for UK consumption emissions. It also looks at the lifecycle emissions of low-carbon technologies in order to understand how their deployment would impact the UK’s carbon footprint.

11 February 2013

In December 2012 Chatham House (The Royal Institute for International Affairs) produced a report, Resource Futures, which presented the findings of a major into the shifting global political economy of key resources (land, water, energy, minerals and food), analysing their inter-linkages in production, use and trade.

29 January 2013

A study by the University of Virginia and the Polytechnic University of Milan, and currently published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a global quantitative assessment of the water-grabbing phenomenon. The study shows that foreign land acquisition involves 62 “grabbed” countries and 41 “grabbers” and affects every continent except Antarctica.

26 November 2012

The journal Ecological Economics has devoted an issue to the concept of degrowth. Degrowth is a political, economic, and social movement based on ecological economics, anti-consumerist, and anti-capitalist ideas. Degrowth thinkers and activists advocate for the downscaling of production and consumption, arguing thatoverconsumption lies at the root of long-term environmental issues and social inequalities.

26 November 2012

Continuing with this theme, EurActiv.com posted an article, “EU’s food imports pose ‘tricky balance’ for hungry Africans,” which discusses the difficulty of creating economic development and food security throughout Africa. A drought that hit East Africa in 2011 exposed this difficulty as European markets had plentiful supplies of African agricultural exports. In fact, the EU imports 40% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural exports. 

19 November 2012

A new book by Anders Wijkman and Johan Rockström argues that we are in deep denial about the magnitude of the global environmental challenges and resource constraints facing the world. The authors argue that regardless of whether governments respond to the economic crisis through additional stimulus packages or reduced government spending, environmental and resource constraints will remain.

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