Current food systems have severe implications for land use, resource sustainability, and climate change for the future. The outlook for low and middle income countries for crop yields impacted by climate change ahd climate-related disasters are much worse than high-income countries.
This section presents selected data on key trends on climate and environment:
- Changing climate
- Trends in yields
- Land use changes
- Freshwater withdrawals
- Greenhouse Gas emissions
- Trends in climate related disasters
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Land Use and Diet
Even with a universal application of the HHEP diet, producing enough protein for the future requires an increase of land – creating serious environmental consequences.
Crop Yields and Climate Change
Climate change may significantly reduce yields in the long run. Specifically for low and middle income countries, most impacts for crop yield impacts are negative, increasing further into the future.
Water withdrawals for agriculture account for 70% of all withdrawals. In some low-rainfall areas, about 80-90% of the water is used for agricultural purposes.
Changes in Agricultural Production
Compared with the baseline, climate change is expected to result in declines in agricultural production in large parts of Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia. These declines are projected to be more pronounced in West Africa and India, where production could decrease by 2.9 and 2.6 percent respectively due to climate change impacts.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In 2010, emissions from AFOLU were estimated at 10.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The sector produces an estimated 21% of global GHG emissions.
The increase in climate-related events like floods, droughts, and storms in the past 30 years is of particular concern to agriculture.