USDA Report: Climate Change Likely to Impede Progress on Global Food Security

A new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that examines global food security and its implications for the United States says climate change is likely to impede progress on reducing undernourishment around the world in the decades to come. Climate Change, Global Food Security, and the U.S. Food System, released today during the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, identifies the risks climate change poses to global food security and the challenges farmers and consumers face in adapting to changing climate conditions.

The report states that without response measures, climate change is likely to cause disruptions in food production and a decrease in food safety, which will lead to local availability limitations and an increase in price. The poor and those who live in tropical regions face the greatest risk. The report seeks to avoid such a consequence by identifying needs and vulnerabilities, and targeting adaptive practices and technologies across the entire food system.

Food systems in the United States will be affected by climate change as well, particularly by altering the type and price of food imports from other parts of the world. Additional changes will be felt in export demand, transportation, processing, storage, and the infrastructure that enable global trade.

To mitigate the effects of climate change on global food security, USDA recommends effective adaptation methods such as strengthening agricultural economies, using advanced crop production methods in low-yielding regions, reducing food waste through innovative packaging, expanding cold storage to lengthen shelf life, and improving transportation infrastructure to move food more rapidly to markets.

Climate Change, Global Food Security, and the U.S. Food System is part of the United States National Climate Assessment and part of the President’s Climate Action Plan.

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About Katie Regan

Katie Regan serves as the Communications Specialist for Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices through NACCHO's various storytelling and communications channels. Twitter: @katiejregan

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