Climate Change, Agriculture, and the Right to Food
The agricultural sector accounts for a substantial portion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Direct agriculture worldwide is responsible for 13.5 percent of GHG. In addition, deforestation accounts for another 17.4 percent of GHG, making agricultural activities accountable for almost 31 percent of GHG. This is of course substantial and a reason that agriculture needs to be part of the plan for reducing these emissions.
Jim Kleinschmit, Director of Rural Communities at the Institute for Trade and Agriculture Policy, reports on the multiple ways agriculture impacts and is impacted by climate change. He notes that achieving “climate-friendly” agriculture systems requires a shift in focus, research, and investment away from industrialized input and fossil-fuel dependent agricultural practices toward more resilient low-input systems that increase carbon sequestration in the soil and lessen output of greenhouse gases. Kleinschmit explains that the focus needs to be on the kinds of foods we produce and how we produce them because 50 to 83 percent of emissions are produced before food leaves the farm gate. Listen to highlights on Jim Kleinschmidt's six minute YouTube on Agriculture and Climate Change.