Climate Change: International Actions for Water and Food

Feb 5, 2015 Posted by:  

Impact and Consequence

The commitments under the Kyoto Protocol not maintained were to enforce developed countries to reduce their emissions by 5.2%, compared to 1990. Furthermore, the situation before the COP 21 of Paris saw that the emissions have increased with an increment of 30%. As a consequence, the proposal of the fifth report of the IPCC 2014 announced that the global emissions of greenhouse gases must now be reduced from 40 to 70% by 2050 and disappear permanently from 2100.

The main effects of climate change notice that in Asia the sea levels have been rising faster than in the previous 2000 years. Moreover, changes in precipitation and the melting glaciers are altering the freshwater systems, undermining the quantity and quality of water available, and finally countries and islands are subject to floods with strong impacts on settlements and infrastructure, deterioration of human health, shortage of food and water.

In Central America, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimated that if global warming continued at the current pace in 2012, the negative impacts on agricultural production would lead to a loss of nearly 19 percent of GDP in Central America and that precipitation in the region would decline by at least 11% by 2100.

In South America, especially in Peru,  studies show that the water reserves, that is the glaciers of the Andes, have been reduced in the last 30 years from 30 to 50% whereas in Brazil the destruction of at least 42 billion trees, about 2000 trees per minute for at least 40 years of the Amazon, determines the loss of 20 billion tons of water every day (about of 20.000 billion of liters). In San Paolo, for example, the population suffered the worst water crisis in 80 years now, and the  metropolis had remained without water for over a month.

Some of the major disasters and displacements caused by climate change have seen that in 2012 there have been 310 natural disasters which led to 9.330 deaths, 106 billion people affected and an economic damage amounting to 138 billion of dollars according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. Furthermore, also in 2012 32,4 million people were forced to abandoned their homes due to natural disasters according to the Displacement Monitoring Centre in May 2013.

In Europe, the main effects of climate change have caused in Italy the flooding of rivers that have hit several regions in 2014 such as Veneto, Liguria, Lombardy, and Emilia Romagna. In Other European countries similar phenomena have occurred. According to a report by the European environmental agency (Eea), on 33 countries (not only those of the EU) only 21 have a strategy of adaptation and 17, especially in North and Central Europe, have also  a national plan. In the Black sea, Mediterranean, Baltic, in the north east Atlantic Ocean and Arctic, it is observed the degradation of marine and costal ecosystems cause by fishing, agriculture, and industrial use of chemicals. Finally, over the past 150 years, the average temperature has increased by almost 0,8°C globally and by about 1°C in Europe. Eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) are among the 12 warmest years since 1850.

In Poland, about 20 % of the national electric energy produced burning lignite at the Central of Belchatow. Unfortunately, the COP 19 Warsaw in November 2013, whose proposal was to build an ad hoc group on agriculture, was rejected by China, Brazil and others for the simple fact that has not been an agreement; thus, the proposal to reduce carbon use was rejected.

The city of Wroclaw in the South West of Poland still witnesses the devastating results left by the flood of the river Odra. For instance, on a wall of a building in the city of Wroclaw, there is still a small metal plaque affixed seventy centimeters above the ground that reads: July 13 1997, which is the water level during the flood. On May 2010, the floods that affect Poland have caused the disappearances of 10 people in Warsaw, where the level of the Vistula reaches over 8 meters of the embankments causing waters to be contaminated.

There is a higher demand and competition over land and water resources than of ecological functions, energy (+60% in 2030 with respect to 2004) and food security, accounting for +50% by 2030 and +%70 by 2050 with respect to 2009.

Climate Change Impact on Agriculture shows that, from the data provided by several research centers as Land Matrix   about Land Grabbing, the current estimate of acres "hogged" hovers around the 32 million and that the top 10 countries on which target arrangements have been made for the acquisition of lands 7 are Africans, 2 are in Southeast Asia and one in Latin America. It also demonstrates that the production of food and foodstuffs, also for energy such as bio fuels, is estimated to have caused the race to land between 2005 and 2009 to more than 32 million hectares and is often thought that these lands, and that the amount of surface water or groundwater present and potentially exploitable. Lastly, in many cases, in fact, it has been documented the presence of aquifers that has strongly influenced the processes of hoarding of the earth for the purpose of production of food.


                                               Seminar Varsavia. CICMA R.Lembo

Last Modified: Feb 26, 2015