On the brink: Who's best prepared for a climate and hunger crisis?
A triple crisis
Accelerating climate change, growing population and rising food prices pose a triple crisis that could lead to a collapse in global food systems. A predicted 30 per cent increase in world population by 2050, together with the severe impact of severe climate change on harvests, is widely forecast to set the scene for food scarcity in decades to come. This year’s famine in East Africa provided a terrible preview of how such crises could play out in years to come, with severe drought, conflict over access to water and land, and high food prices interacting to push 13 million people into starvation.
“Earth to run out of food by 2050?”, Time magazine’s December 2010 headline, 1 may have been an overstatement, but UN agencies, scientists and food policy experts concur that we are in serious trouble. There has been a flurry of conferences and reports calling for governments to act now. However, ActionAid’s new report is the first to show which of 28 developing countries are taking action against the climate/hunger crunch, and which are burying their heads in the sand. We examine the record of these 28 countries in two core areas: overall vulnerability to the climate/ hunger crunch, and key policy measures that can reduce vulnerability. These are measured by our ‘Vulnerability’ and ‘Capacity /Preparedness’ indices (see Tables 1 and 2, for more information).