12 February 2016

Food Security, Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals

With the population predicted to increase to over 9.6 billion people by 2050, and food demand set to increase by between 60 and 100 per cent, the topic of increasing agricultural output to feed the growing population whilst reducing our global footprint is by far one of the biggest challenges society faces today.

Currently 1 in 9 people are defined as chronically hungry, and this chronic hunger disproportionately impacts the world’s poorest people. Temperature growth has undeniably been linked with human induced greenhouse gas emissions, with the ‘safe’ limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere proposed as 350 parts per million. However, in March of 2015, carbon dioxide emissions were recorded as over 400 parts per million by NASA.  These emissions levels mean increasing food production whilst reducing our per capita emissions is the only viable option in ensuring food security.  

Given that sustainable food production is crucial for sustainable human development, improved livelihoods for all and limiting temperature growth by two degrees, United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) requested four schools and departments of Climate Change and Food Security at UNAI member institutions to submit articles highlighting research and work relating to the Sustainable Development Goals to showcase the importance of sustainable agriculture in mitigating climate change in the post-2015 development agenda.

Each week, an article from food security, climate change and nutrition researchers across the world will be posted, highlighting the effects of climate change on food security, and how safeguarding and increasing access to food will affect climate change and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The first article, “The World’s Food Supply is Made Insecure by Climate Change”, will post on Monday, 15 February, and a new article will be posted each Monday thereafter.  We would love to hear your thoughts on food security and climate change. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @ImpactUN using #FoodSecurity