Farmers will have to produce as much food in the next 40 years as they have in the past 8000 to satisfy the needs of the world’s rapidly expanding population. Meeting this challenge will be made all the more difficult by climate change. Even a 2°C rise in temperature by the end of the 21st century – many projections suggest it is more likely to be 4°C – will lead to dramatic changes in agricultural productivity and land use.
At the Brussels Development Briefing on Climate change, agriculture and food security: proven approaches and new investments1, experts highlighted the policies required to help farmers cope with climate change. Governments should promote policies that encourage ‘climate-smart’ agriculture, which integrates food security, climatechange adaptation and mitigation. They should also adopt a multi-sectoral approach to tackling the impact of climate change on food systems. Policymakers should promote financial incentives that encourage climate-smart agriculture. They should also encourage research into the best ways of helping farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. At the international level, agriculture should be at the heart of climate-change negotiations.