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Oisín's opening statement at Teagasc Great Debate on Climate Change and Food Security

Posted by Oisín Coghlan on July 13, 2012 at 01:28 PM

green_cow - Irish Agriculture claims to be the among the greenest in the world
Irish Agriculture claims to be the among the greenest in the world

The real link between food security and climate change

There is a concerted effort to promote a narrative that increasing Irish food production is a vital contribution to global food security and, therefore, action to reduce climate-changing emissions in Ireland should put no limit on the expansion of Irish agri-industry.

In reality, climate change is one of the biggest threats to food security, not action to contain climate change. Other main causes of food insecurity are conflict, natural disasters, poverty, access to agricultural inputs and good seeds for small farmers.

There is no shortage of food globally. The problem is not production, it's distribution. The 1 billion people who go hungry every day could be fed with just 3% of current world food supply.

We are not going to feed the world by increasing Irish beef and dairy production. In fact we're planning to feed the growing Chinese and India middle-class not the hungry in Africa.

We are already on a path to a 5 to 6 degree warmer world, when we know that at 4 °C agricultural yields decline for everything. The pursuit of agricultural expansion in Europe is not part of the solution to food insecurity, rather it is a cause of climate change and food insecurity.

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