header picture

(Article Summarized by Meridian Institute) “Food and agriculture are significant contributors to, and heavily impacted by, climate change, but they also offer opportunities for mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” begins Meridian’s Institute’s latest report, “Climate Change & Food Systems: Assessing Impacts and Opportunities.” Despite a growing focus on the relationship between climate and agriculture, the authors say, there has been relatively little analysis and focus on climate change and food systems. Food systems include the growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consumption and disposal of food and food-related items. This narrow focus, they add, prevents consideration of a broad range of mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as the systems-level effects of narrowly targeted interventions. “Approaching climate adaptation and mitigation in the context of food systems,” the report states, “broadens the range of opportunities to achieve mitigation and adaptation goals and facilitates the consideration of systems-level effects and interactions. A food systems perspective also enables engagement of the full range of stakeholders that should be involved in food systems transformation. Such a perspective is critical to addressing climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which cover multiple sectors that are linked by food.” By summarizing peer-reviewed information on food system activities, the authors aim to provide a starting point for stakeholders who are working to build sustainable food systems and who need to understand the linkages, multiplier effects, and interactions among the numerous dimensions of food systems. They propose Climate Change Food Systems Principles – interconnectedness, equity, resilience, renewability, responsiveness, transparency, scale and evaluation – to help stakeholders explore food system transformation strategies and apply a food systems lens to adaptation and mitigation opportunities. The full report is available for download at the Meridian Institute website.

Posted March 13th, 2018