A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Global warming and food security:
The IPCC raises a red flag again

April 7, 2014


On March 31, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) issued the second part of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on climate change, which focused on the impact, adaptation and vulnerability of global warming. Published approximately every six years, this latest report confirms that climate change might have more negative than positive consequences, especially for agriculture and food security.

In fact, a temperature rise of 2°C would have a major impact on agriculture and could occur before than expected, i.e. in the next two or three decades. In France, the thermometer gained 1.5oC in a century, leading to earlier sowing and harvest seasons. Yet, estimates for the whole of Europe are assuming “an increased frequency and intensity of droughts and heat waves on a wide area of the continent” says Jean-François Soussana, Scientific Director for Environment at the French National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), and member of the IPCC. One must remember that the 2003 drought and heat wave had caused a 20 to 30 percent crop loss.

The risks of weakened global agricultural yields could follow, especially concerning wheat whose progress has already been slowed down by two percent every decade––and one percent for corn––at a time when global demand will rise by 14 percent by 2050.

However, climate change is not solely an environmental issue. The report emphasizes the impact of extreme climate occurrences on price fluctuations since 2007/2008, and the vulnerability of agricultural markets against volatility. Worsened by the recent floods in Europe or the droughts in the United States, such volatility weakens food security and agricultural productivity.

Which measures must we adopt then to best meet the challenges presented by the IPCC? At a time when some types of agriculture are starting to review their practices, IPCC experts are advocating adaptation measures that target better agricultural strategies combined with required improvements of research for more innovative agriculture.

Yet, all these forewarnings must be tackled with extreme caution. Other propositions do exist, and there is no reason to be excessively negative. In addition, if the consequences of climate change can increase price volatility, the “climate” factor only act as a match that can fuel the structurally unbalanced market situation. The real issue is that of creating genuine regulatory mechanisms at the international level to mitigate the impact of both exogenous and endogenous risks on agriculture, hunger and poverty. Because dealing only with climate hazards, while letting markets freely fluctuate by fostering the elimination of the last regulation mechanisms, is particularly dangerous.

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Paris, 18 December 2018