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Alisher Mirzabaev, Lennart Olsson, Rachel Bezner Kerr, et al.


Climate change affects the functioning of all of the components of food systems, often in ways that exacerbate existing predicaments and inequalities among regions of the world and groups in society. At the same time, food systems are a major cause of climate change, accounting for a third of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Therefore, food systems can and should play a much bigger role in climate policies. This chapter highlights nine action points for climate change adaptation and mitigation in food systems. The chapter shows that numerous practices, technologies, knowledge and social capital already exist for climate action in food systems, with multiple synergies with other important goals, such as the conservation of biodiversity, the safeguarding of ecosystem services, sustainable land management and reducing social and gender inequalities. Many of these solutions are presently being applied at local scales around the world, even if not at sufficient levels. Hence, the major effort to unleash their potential would involve overcoming various technical, political-economic and structural barriers for their much wider application. Some other solutions require research and development investments now, but will focus on helping us meet the longer-term challenges of climate change in regard to food systems in the second half of this century, when most existing food production practices will face unprecedented challenges. In the short term, these pro-poor policy changes and support systems can have a range of positive effects well beyond food systems without delay. In the long term, investments in research will help ensure food security and ecosystem integrity for coming generations.

Year of publication 2023