Changes in Food Systems Are Fundamental to Combating the Climate Crisis

a big table in a room with speakers
Um Só Planeta
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Changes in Food Systems Are Fundamental to Combating the Climate Crisis

Food systems are on the list of human activities that emit greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming - according to a study published in the journal Nature, they account for a third of global emissions.

These same food systems, however, also appear alongside the sectors of society that are affected by climate change. This December 10th, discussions at the COP, a climate conference, taking place in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) are dedicated to the theme of food systems. Dignitaries and ministerial leaders come together to discuss the paths, modalities and opportunities involved in implementing the Emirates Declaration, which emphasizes the transformation of agriculture and food systems in the context of national climate efforts, such as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and Plans National Adaptation Plans (NAP).

The effects of changed climate affect production regimes, food security and producers' incomes. Droughts and floods destroy crops and farming infrastructure. Rising sea levels cause salt water to penetrate groundwater, increasing soil salinity, which leads to reduced crop yields and increased production costs. The effects of this are already visible in the country hosting COP28.

“We noticed that the saltier water in Abu Dhabi affected the sweetness of fruits like watermelon,” Roma Vora, co-founder of Aranya Farms in Abu Dhabi, told Arabic media outlet The National. “Over the past five decades, temperatures in the region have increased by approximately 1.5°C, leading to challenges such as water scarcity, soil problems and increased pest infestations, resulting in some producers abandoning some agricultural activities,” he said. 

This is a summary. Read the full article in Portuguese on Um Só Planeta.


This story was produced as part of the 2023 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published in Portuguese by Um Só Planeta on December 12, 2023 and has been translated to English and lightly edited for length and clarity.

Banner image: The negotiation room at COP28 / Credit: UNFCCC, Kiara Worth.

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