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Climate Change and Food

Security
Polly Ericksen
Environmental Change Institute
University of Oxford
polly.ericksen@eci.ox.ac.uk
Food security…

... exists when all people, at all times, have


physical and economic access to sufficient,
safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary
needs and food preferences for an active and
healthy life.
(World Food Summit 1996)

... is underpinned by Food Systems.


Global Environmental Change

Changes in the biogeophysical environment


caused or strongly influenced by human
activities
For example changes in:

Land cover & soils Nitrogen availability &


cycling
Atmospheric composition
Biodiversity
Climate variability & means
Sea currents & salinity
Water availability & quality
Sea level
Global Environmental Change

Examples of human activities leading


to GEC:

Deforestation Agricultural
intensification
Fossil fuel
consumption Freshwater extraction

Urbanisation Fisheries
overexploitation
Land reclamation
Waste production
Climate Change Scenarios

CC SRES estimates
Climate Change Impacts on
Grain Yields
Global production
Cereal production
0

% difference from reference case


-2

-4

-6

-8

-10

-12
A1 A2 B1 B2
world

Percentage change in average


crop yields. Effects of CO2 are
taken into account. Crops
Parry et al. (2005) modelled are: wheat, maize
and rice.
Climate Change Impacts on crop, livestock
and forest production: IPCC estimates

IPCC AR4 WGII


Negative impacts where food
insecurity high

Source: FAO State of Food Insecurity 2006


Land use for agriculture
•Harvested land in world increased by
24% 1961 to 2003 to 1.2 billion ha.
•Agricultural conversion to croplands
and managed pastures has affected
some 3.3 billion ha—roughly 26
percent of the land area.
•Agriculture has displaced one-third of
temperate and tropical forests and
one-quarter of natural grasslands.

rld Resources Institute calculations, 2000;


mprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, 2007
Water use in agriculture
• About 70% of global freshwater
withdrawal is for agriculture
• Compared to 20% for industry and
10% for municipalities
• However, 55% of the gross value of
crop production grown under rainfed
agriculture on 72% of harvested
land.

Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, 2007


Global GHG emission
sources

ource: EarthTrends, 2008; using data from the the Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT)
Total GHG emissions for food supply chain
associated with household food consumption in the US

Weber & Matthews, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2008


2008: vulnerable food
systems

FAO and IMF data 2008


Access is critical to
food security
Multiple Exposure: Food insecurity arises from
overlapping and interacting stressors

12

Misselhorn 2005 Global Environmental


Change
GECAFS “Food System” concept

Food System ACTIVITIES


Producing food: natural resources, inputs, technology, …
Processing & packaging food: raw materials, standards, storage requirement, …
Distributing & retailing food: transport, marketing, advertising, …
Consuming food: acquisition, preparation, customs, …

Food System OUTCOMES Contributing to:


Social Welfare Food Security Environmental
• Income Welfare
• Employment • Ecosystem
FOOD FOOD
• Wealth stocks & flows
UTILISATION ACCESS
• Social capital • Ecosystem
• Nutritional Value • Affordability
• Political capital services
• Social Value • Allocation
• Human capital • Food Safety • Preference
• Access to
natural capital

FOOD
AVAILABILITY
• Production
• Distribution
• Exchange

Ericksen, P. 2008. Global Env. Change


Vulnerability of the Food System to
GEC
More holistic view
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL
CHANGE (GEC)
Change in type,
frequency & magnitude
of environmental threats

Capacity
to cope
FOOD SYSTEM Exposure
with, and to GEC
RESILIENCE /
adapt to,
VULNERABILITY
GEC

SOCIETAL CHANGE
Change in institutions,
resource accessibility,
economic conditions, etc.

Adapted from Ingram & Brklacich, 2002; Ericksen, 2008


Vulnerability of the food system to GEC
is mediated by coping capacity

Example: Nutritional diversity (milk) in the Indo-


Gangetic Plain
Milk production is sensitive to drought (it decreases)

Food security outcome


Weak coping
capacity HIGH vulnerability
Rural areas: • weak markets • access to milk decreases
• poor infrastructure • nutritional value
• low income decreases
• poor storage or
processing
Strong coping
capacity LOW vulnerability
Urban areas: • robust markets • access to milk
• sufficient infrastructure maintained
• higher income • nutritional value
• good storage and maintained
processing
Source: Multi-authored analysis of IGP food system vulnerability to GEC. GECAFS Report. In prep.
Making sensible adaptation
choices in food systems

• Fair trade or food miles?


• Cheap meat for all or luxury meat for
a few?
• Localized food systems in every
country or increased trade?
• Sustainable agriculture or industrial
production?
• Corn for ethanol or corn for animals
and sweeteners?
Which features would be
important in your food
system?
Supermarkets
Food security for all? in every town?

GM Crop technologies? Biofuels?

Vegetable WTO
gardens at every renegotiated?
house? Revitalized agricultural extension?
Aquaculture?
Payments for agrobiodiversity?