Drought response in Mauritania, March 2012. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

Hot and Hungry

How to stop climate change derailing the fight against hunger

Published: 25 March 2014

Hunger is not and need never be inevitable. However climate change threatens to put back the fight to eradicate it by decades – and our global food system is woefully unprepared to cope with the challenge.

This week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will publish new evidence showing that the impact of climate change on global hunger will hit harder and sooner than previously thought.

In the face of this challenge, Oxfam analyzes how well the world’s food system is prepared for the impacts of climate change. We assess ten key factors that influence a country’s ability to feed its people in a warming world – these include the quality of weather monitoring systems, social safety nets, agricultural research and adaptation

Climate change will affect us all

Across all ten areas we found a serious gap between what is happening and what is needed to protect our food systems. These gaps in preparedness are driven by poverty, inequality and lack of political will. While many countries – both rich and poor – are inadequately prepared for the impact of climate change on food, it is the world’s poorest and most food insecure countries that are generally the least prepared for and most susceptible to harmful climate change. No country's food system will be unaffected by worsening climate change.

We can make a difference

There is still time to fix the problem. What countries do today to prepare for climate change – and the degree to which the poorest countries are supported – will, to a large extent, determine how many people go hungry over the next two decades. And how far and fast countries cut their emissions will determine whether our food systems can continue to support us in the second half of the century.

Oxfam is calling on governments, business and publics across the globe to take action to stop climate change making people hungry.




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