Impact of climate change on food security: A comparative overview in the global north and south



December 5, 2022

In regard to the Cop27: United Nations Climate Change
A contribution of ADNA e.V Worms to the debate.

Climate change is a worldwide issue that induces long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Changes in precipitation and extreme weather events cause reductions in water availability which give rise to global disruption of food security on its four dimensions. This section aims to provide a comparative overview of the effects of climate change on food security in the global north and south.
Temperature and weather patterns are being altered over an extended period of time due to climate change. As a result of the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas since the 1800s, human activity has largely been the main cause of climate change.
Several industries, including agriculture, transportation, buildings, and land use, has also contributed to thegreenhouse effect.
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (World Food Summit, 1996)
Generally accepted definitions of food security include the following five dimensions.
In the context of food availability, it refers to the availability of sufficient quantities of food in acceptable quality, whether it is produced domestically or imported.
Food access refers to obtaining adequate resources for acquiring appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
Food utilization consists of utilizing food in combination with an adequate diet, clean water, sanitation, and health care to achieve nutritional well-being and meet all physiological needs.
Food stability refers to the ability of a population, household, or individual to obtain adequate food at all times.
The impact of extreme weather events such as heavy precipitation, flooding, and storms is manifested in the destruction of roads, bridges, and transportation networks. This makes it more difficult for people to access food due to the hazardous
conditions they face. In addition to impacting agricultural production and supply  chains, climate change also affects pricing. Temperatures beyond crop thresholds has declined yield in tropical and temperate regions despite the fact, some crop in temperate production is expected to increase.

Climate change is impacting food security in both the Global South and North. While countries in the Global North have the more adaptive capacity and social safety nets to buffer them from climate change effects, most countries in the Global South do not have those advantages for their livelihoods.
Agricultural mechanisation has increased the efficiency and productivity of food production in northern economies, allowing them to compensate for the food shortage caused by climate change. As a result of technological advancements in agriculture, most countries in the Global North are resilient to the impact of climate change on the four pillars of food security. This gives to countries in Global North the ability to adopt stronger food systems. Climate impacts on food production alone won’t impact consumption patterns or food security in the Global North countries due to the degree of separation between food production and consumption.
Countries of the Global South bear the brunt of changes in food availability and production losses. Subsistence farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the Global South. Food insecurity is aggravated by crop losses caused by climate
change, which reduce food availability and farmers income. Farmers with small and marginal farms are especially vulnerable to income reductions due to crop failures.
Perishable agricultural products have a challenging time reaching the market in the Global South due to the destruction transportation network and agricultural infrastructure.
Despite the disparities, Global North and South face severe food security, especially due to climate change, but the countries in the global North are more equipped to adapt and to be more resilience the impact.

Date 02.12.2022
Published by Hubert Fudjumdjum

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