What’s Cooking? Adaptation and Mitigation in the UK Food System – produced for the Sustainable Consumption Institute by researchers at the University of Manchester – indicates that Britons can expect “radical” changes in their available food supply if worldwide temperatures rise by 4C, as they are predicted to do if current trends continue.
It argues that while measures are being taken to cut energy use, Britons need to take a more holistic approach to tackle global warming.
Emissions associated with agriculture are rising because of a growing appetite for meat and other energy-intensive foods, for example.
Ironically, the result of people being unwilling to cut down on their meat is that sky-rocketing prices will force them to do just that – as the report says: “Livestock production might not be here to stay.”
A positive development on the surface, if climate change continues unabated and global temperatures rise as expected by 4C then drought in parts of the world could cause staple crops such as rice to fail, resulting in widespread famine.
“The failure of the global community to turn rhetoric into reality and put meaningful policies in place to urgently cut emissions means that we are facing future temperature increases around 4C, which will be devastating to agriculture and fundamentally alter food provision,” said the report’s lead author Dr Alice Bows.