Food and Climate Change: how do they influence each other?

Yesterday morning at the #ClimateAction Hub we had the chance to participate in a session organized by the FAO and to interact with Alix Ruhlmann, Canadian wholesaler, and Richard Brambley, farmer from Yorkshire (UK). The two experts represented two opposite stakeholders: the producer and the consumer. The meeting created a very dynamic and interactive conversation. The central question that was launched for both the speakers and the public regarded our vision of the future of food in the face of climate change. Many opinions were shared, among others the urgency to lower the carbon emissions produced by the agricultural industry, the need to diversify our food production and to implement more biodiversity in the agricultural practices as well as the necessity to reduce meat consumption and food waste.

What results challenging is the way in which the transition will happen and whether we will be able to adapt to the environmental changes which greatly influence agricultural practices. From the audience, we heard about different matters and concerns, focusing on the consumer and the choices that citizens make every day, stressing also the need to invest more money in scientific research in order to address this issue from a more theoretical view, simplifying the transition for farmers.

At this point, the panelists highlighted the importance of “stopping to live in the bubble of where we were and [starting to go in the direction of] where we need to be”: agriculture places itself at the center of so many aspects of our life and we need to be ambitious about it. People need to start educating themselves and the new generations, reflecting on the reasons why policy makers are financing always the same industries.

A quite interesting intervention mentioned the internalization of the externalities produced specifically by the meat and dairy industries, which are the major contributors to greenhouse gasses emissions, soil degradation and water shortage.

In summary, this short conversation raised many issues and questions, between which, several inputs were mentioned. Today, at the Farmers Day, many more topics will be faced and explored further. Stay tuned for more updates!

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