Climate Change and Food Security: Risks and Responses

Paper by Cassandra De Young


The effects of climate change on our ecosystems are already severe and widespread, and ensuring food security in the face of climate change is among the most daunting challenges facing humankind. While some of the problems associated with climate change are emerging gradually, action is urgently needed now in order to allow enough time to build resilience into agricultural production systems.

In spite of considerable progress, almost 800 million people are chronically undernourished, 161 million under-five year olds are estimated to be stunted. At the same time 500 million people are obese and 2 billion lack the essential micronutrients they need to lead healthy lives. Population and income increase as well as urbanization are driving increased and changing food and feed demand. FAO estimates that, to satisfy the growing demand driven by population growth and diet changes, food production will have to increase by at least 60 percent in the next decades.

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