CIMUN Chronicle / Article / 2016

Editorial: Can agriculture be sustainably developed with the presence of climate change?

IPD Article Image - Editorial: Can agriculture be sustainably developed with the presence of climate change?

By: Maya Navarro, Miles Statz and Darci Johnson

With all resolutions related to expanding access to technical and financial assistance for smallholder farmers passing in tandem, the FAO has promptly moved onto addressing the promotion of food security and nutrition in the face of rapid climate change.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the global average surface temperature has risen at an average rate of 0.15 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1901. However, due to the emphasis by many countries on their industrial sectors, this rate is expected to rise. With such a drastic increase in temperature throughout the world, certain crops may not be able to adapt so rapidly to these changes.

This is where the main problem arises within the FAO: How will representatives account for the increase in climate change when creating sustainable development projects so that more people can benefit from them for a longer period of time?

One obstacle that advancements in agriculture faces in the wake of climate change is the United States government. While almost all U.N. countries have accepted climate change as real, President Donald Trump and his administration have been reluctant to state that climate change is truly occurring, and that humanity is at fault for the dramatically escalated change. Without recognizing climate change, the United States will be unable to advance its agricultural production in a changing world that requires new technology and eco-friendly solutions to the agricultural sector. With the exemption of the United States, it is not hard to see that many nations would be willing to implement these new policies into everyday use to protect our Earth.

Despite the opposition from some nations regarding implementing eco-friendly solutions, the FAO is still working with consenting member nations along with various non-governmental organizations and other companies to provide necessary infrastructure and aid that developing countries may need.

One solution for this problem was brought up by the representative of Mexico in the FAO who said: “the usage of less expensive solar panels can be used for developing nations looking to become environmentally conscious.” Additionally, the delegate of South Korea in the FAO, “micro-credits or the usage of private investors may help the situation.”

Looking forward, the future for agriculture is one of extreme uncertainty and risk. Climate change is already taking its effect on our planet. An increase in average drought severity, duration and a huge uptick in the occurrence of natural disasters has led member nations of the Food and Agricultural Organization to agree that climate change is an issue of paramount importance to the agricultural industry.

Image: State of Israel/Flickr