Source: The Guardian
According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), compiled by a group of the most prestigious scientists in the world and approved by the UN member countries, the climate crisis is reducing the ability of soils to sustain humanity, with increasing risks related to temperature rise global.
Global warming is causing an increase in drought, soil erosion and fires, and a decrease in crop yields in the tropics as well as in the ice cap at the poles.
The report emphasizes the decisive moment we are living as humanity. We face two paths: one vicious and one virtuous. The continued destruction of forests and the large emissions caused by the livestock industry and other intensive agricultural practices will cause an increase in the effects of the climate crisis, making the impact on ecosystems more serious.
However, according to the IPCC report, actions can be taken to restore soils and forests, allowing carbon to be regenerated and stored, and measures that lead to lower consumption of meat and dairy products and less generation of food waste can be introduced .
The misuse of soils is responsible for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, with key factors being the destruction of forests, livestock production and the overuse of chemical fertilizers.
One of the most emphatic conclusions of the IPCC report is that soils, on which human existence on earth depends, are being lost at speeds 100 times faster than what is generated in crop areas, and 10 a 20 times faster even in non-productive areas.
“It is necessary to act immediately”
The report recommends that governments take strong actions to address this problem, which include ending deforestation and allowing new forests to grow, reformulating the agricultural subsidy system, supporting small producers and promoting the use of crops with greater resilience Many of these solutions, however, would take decades to take effect.
Consumers in the richest nations can take immediate action, reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products produced intensively, products that have an enormous environmental impact.
However, this change is not easy to produce, so the report suggests introducing the costs of environmental impact on food prices.
Previous studies have suggested meat taxes or subsidies on fruits and vegetables. Meat production involves large tracts of land. The decrease in consumption would allow these surfaces to be released which could be used for reforestation or production of bioenergetic crops.
In summary, the message of the IPCC is clear, to face the problems related to the environmental crisis, we need to plant more forests, restore ecosystems and eat less meat and dairy products.
You can see the full report of The Guardian (In English) here