New Summary Of Climate Impacts On Food Security And Nutrition

Published on 12 August 2013

Natural disasters such as flooding are expected to become more frequent with the effects of climate change and have a disproportionate impact on the lives of the hungry poor. Copyright: WFP/Amjad Jamal

A new primer developed jointly by WFP and UK Met Office Hadley Centre summarises the latest available evidence on the impacts of climate change on food security and nutrition.

BLED – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead authors met this month in Bled, Slovenia to review and finalise their Report Climate Change 2013: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. The Report will be part of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report which will summarise the latest climate science, and will examine potential impacts on different sectors and different regions.

Climate impacts on food security and nutrition

The science and evidence tell us that, without serious commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, climate variability and extreme weather events can have adverse impacts on food security and livelihoods, affecting millions of food insecure people. 

One of the key challenges in managing the impacts of climate change on the most food insecure and vulnerable communities is the lack of understanding of the potential impacts beyond changes in agricultural production. 

In addition to the serious consequences of climate change on food production, climate change could result in reduced availability of key resources such as land and water, higher food price volatility, and depletion of household income and assets. Climate-related risks also affect dietary diversity, with negative outcomes on malnutrition. 

WFP has teamed up with the UK Met Office Hadley Centre – one of the world’s leading climate science institutions – to integrate state-of-the-art climate science with cutting-edge food security information into a primer on food climate change, food security and nutrition

The primer summarizes the state of knowledge to help food security policy makers and practitioners to better understand the range of impacts that climate change might bring.  The primer details the ways in which long-term climate change, sea-level rise and remote climate, and extreme weather impacts on food production, livelihoods, and nutrition.