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How Climate Change Impacts Food Security

How is climate change impacting food security and global food supply chains? What are the future threats and what can be done to mitigate against them?

Extreme weather—from heatwaves and severe drought to flooding and storms—has led to multiple crop failures worldwide in recent years, occurring most notably in central and northern Europe and the Horn of Africa. Livelihoods were threatened in the summer of 2023, due to crop loss over vast swathes of agricultural land across northern America and other parts of the world.

Such weather is expected to become more frequent and intense in the coming years, and some studies suggest that the risks of crop failure have so far been underestimated in most climate and crop models.

In this panel discussion we explored what is happening to our agricultural land and food supplies as a result of climate change, and what needs to be done to adapt our agricultural practices to make our food chains more resilient in the face of dangerous climate change.

Speakers included:

  • Dr Catherine Nakalembe—Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, Africa Director under NASA Harvest and Agriculture and Food Security Thematic Lead-NASA SERVIR Applied Sciences Team. Winner Africa Food Prize 2020 and Al Sumait Prize 2022 in recognition of her research and its role in improving food security through remote sensing.
  • The Rt Hon Lord Deben—Founder and Chairman of Sancroft International, a consultancy that advises businesses and investors on all areas of Sustainability and ESG. Chairman of the UK’s Independent Climate Change Committee (2012 – 2023) and the UK’s longest serving Secretary of State for the Environment (1993-97).
  • Professor Rattan LalProfessor of soil science at The Ohio State University; a member of the IPCC which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007; winner of the 2020 World Food Prize in recognition of his research on sustainable soil management and its role in improving global food security and mitigating climate change.
  • Tom Heap (Chair)—TV and radio journalist and broadcaster best known for the BBC One’s Countryfile, BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth and The Climate Show on Sky News. He was previously Rural Affairs Correspondent for BBC News. 

Scheduled dates