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Climate change affecting food security, plant based food can limit climate change: IPCC

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New Delhi, Aug 8 (PTI) Food security will be severely hit because of climate change with decline in yields, reduced nutrient quality and disruptions in availability, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Thursday. The IPCC, the world body for assessing the state of scientific knowledge related to climate change, in its latest report suggested that balanced diets featuring plant-based foods produced in low greenhouse gas emission systems can help combat climate change. "Food security will be increasingly affected by future climate change through yield declines especially in the tropics increased prices, reduced nutrient quality, and supply chain disruptions," said Priyadarshi Shukla, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III. "We will see different effects in different countries, but there will be more drastic impacts on low-income countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean," Shukla said. The report records that about one-third of food produced is lost or wasted. Causes of food loss and waste differ substantially between developed and developing countries, as well as between regions. Reducing this loss and waste would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve food security, it said. The report said, "Some dietary choices require more land and water, and cause more emissions of heat-trapping gases than others. Balanced diets featuring plant-based foods, such as coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and animal-sourced food produced sustainably in low greenhouse gas emission systems, present major opportunities for adaptation to and limiting climate change." It said land must remain productive to maintain food security as the population increases and the negative impacts of climate change on vegetation increase. "This means there are limits to the contribution of land to addressing climate change, for instance through the cultivation of energy crops and afforestation. It also takes time for trees and soils to store carbon effectively," it said. The report, which has been authored by over 100 scientists from 52 countries, also highlighted that land is a critical resource and it was under pressure from humans and climate change. "Land is already under growing human pressure and climate change is adding to these pressures. At the same time, keeping global warming to well below 2 degree Celsius can be achieved only by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors including land and food," the IPCC said. The IPCC's Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL) was approved by the world's governments on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland. It will be a key scientific input into forthcoming climate and environment negotiations, such as the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14) in Delhi in September and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Santiago, Chile, in December. "Governments challenged the IPCC to take the first ever comprehensive look at the whole land-climate system. We did this through many contributions from experts and governments worldwide. This is the first time in IPCC report history that a majority of authors 53 per cent are from developing countries, said Hoesung Lee, chairperson of the IPCC in a statement released by the UN India. "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential if global warming is to be kept to well below 2 degree Celsius, if not 1.5 degree C," the report said. "Bioenergy needs to be carefully managed to avoid risks to food security, biodiversity and land degradation. Desirable outcomes will depend on locally appropriate policies and governance systems," it said. PTI AG AG ABH ABH

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