Climate change: New leaked report shows how to control food production to save the world

Climate change Pixabay

A leaked report on climate change suggested that the crisis cannot be solved only by cutting emissions from cars, factories and power plants and it will be impossible to control the global warming unless the world transforms the way it produces food and manages land.

The leaked document on climate change is currently being debated in Geneva by the inter-governmental body of the United Nations, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

As per the report humans exploit 72 percent of the world's ice-free surface to feed, clothe and support the growing population, while agriculture, forestry and other land use cause almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. It should be noted that half of all emissions of methane, come from cattle and rice fields while the removal of peatlands and deforestation cause significant levels of carbon emissions.

Soil erosion, which refers to the wearing away of a field's topsoil by the natural physical forces of water or wind or through forces associated with farming activities such as tillage, has increased while amounts of organic material in the ground has reduced due to the intensive agriculture which helped the world's population to grow over seven billion.

As reported by The Guardian, the leaked document stated that these issues are likely to get worse in the coming years.

"Climate change exacerbates land degradation through increases in rainfall intensity, flooding, drought frequency and severity, heat stress, wind, sea-level rise and waves action," the document mentioned.

It also showed the impacts of these greenhouse gas emissions which caused several meteorological events such as Arctic sea-ice record low coverage for July 2019, heatwaves between 1.5C and 3C higher than previously recorded in Europe last month and global temperature for July that was 1.2C above pre-industrial levels.

Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment said that the world is now getting closer some dangerous tipping points in the behaviour of the climate. But as per the latest report, "it is going to be very difficult to achieve the cuts we need to make to prevent that happening," he added.

Food industry Pixabay

The new IPCC report it is necessary to manage the lands so that it releases much less carbon than at present. While the peatlands need to be restored, meat consumption, as well as food waste, will have to be cut to reduce the production of methane.

The leaked report also added that "the consumption of healthy and sustainable diets, such as those based on coarse grains, pulses and vegetables, and nuts and seeds ... presents major opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

In terms of minimising the land use, the report suggested that policies are required to improve access to markets, empower women farmers, expand access to agricultural services and strengthen land tenure security.

As per the recent reports featuring world leaders, including US President Donald Trump who called the global warming a hoax, it is clear that not everyone is bothered about the climate change, so achieving these goals suggested by the new document remains uncertain. But it should be noted that in late 2020, UK is most likely to host a world conference where delegates from several countries will plan on how to achieve effective zero-carbon emission policies in the future.