Knowledge for better food systems

The Global Risks Report 2020

According to the Global Risks Report 2020 by the global NGO World Economic Forum, the five risks with the greatest likelihood of happening all relate to the environment (as opposed to the economy, society, geopolitics or technology). The five risks are: extreme weather, climate action failure, natural disasters, biodiversity loss and human-made environmental disasters.

The report draws links between these risks and the food system, noting for example that agricultural expansion (particularly to monocultural crops) has altered large areas of land, and that crop yields are likely to drop in many regions. The report also highlights that changes in the global food system are key to addressing these risks, for example by subsidising regenerative agriculture (not defined in detail by the report) or by producing meat alternatives. 

Read the full report, The Global Risks Report 2020, here (PDF link). See also the Foodsource chapter Impacts of climatic and environmental change on food systems.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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