Agriculture Key to Addressing Climate Change

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, changing current agricultural practices is the key to addressing and solving global climate change.

As world leaders prepare for the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and colloquially known as the Rio+20), much of the world’s focus is on reforms to current agricultural practices. Specifically, transnational activist groups, the United Nations, and supranational organizations like the European Union have all addressed the need to create a sustainable agricultural system in order to prevent massive ecological devastation and global food shortages.

Climate change is quickly emerging as a major threat to agricultural production, both globally as well as in the United States. Last summer’s drought in Texas, which some experts believe will continue until next summer, has already devastated farms across the state. Similar droughts have struck across the South and Southwest, worrying many farmers who fear that this may be the new climatological norm.

Farmers can ameliorate some of the dangers posed by climate change, UN officials believe. According to Jose Graziano da Silva, the new head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, “Agriculture contributes 30 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming and we must raise the awareness of our farmers.”

“Agriculture is not just part of the problem,” he also stated, “it is also part of the solution to the environment issue. It can contribute a lot to the planet’s sustainable development, by finding techniques less harmful to the environment, by helping with clean energy and with a better redistribution of production.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer