A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Must we sacrifice food security in the name of climate change?

14 December 2009



As the international community positions climate change at the forefront of its concerns by launching with great flourish the Copenhagen Climate Conference on December 7, we note increased demands for agriculture’s contribution to the efforts to alleviate greenhouse gas emissions. According to some studies, agricultural activities may be responsible for 14 percent of global emissions. As a result, the European Commission recently proposed that European farmers cut agricultural greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent as early as 2020, and that granting CAP subsidies be contingent upon these “climate-compatible” goals.

Yet, as recently pointed out by Mairead McGuinness, Member of the European Parliament from Ireland, this raises a real issue: knowing if it is appropriate to ask agriculture to contribute to the fight against global warming, as it is the case for transportation for instance. Agriculture is indeed a strategic sector that determines food security worldwide, particularly in developing countries. However, agricultural activities in these nations cause 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions states the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). But the short-term priority of developing countries is to produce enough to feed their population; and the world’s billion people still suffering from hunger today are proof that such objective is far from fulfilled.

Climate change and food security are two priorities for the international community. If agriculture––as guardian of the land ecosystems that absorb CO2––can undoubtedly play a role in the fight against global warming, we must not however weaken agricultural regulation policies with restrictive climate objectives, at the risk of seeing long-term climate interests run counter to permanent strategic interests for food security. On top of it, what are the merits of these studies, which hastily infer a negative impact of agriculture on climate, whereas agricultural forecasting models are being challenged and the potential of agriculture not clearly taken into account?

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Paris, 26 April 2019