Food systems account for 31 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions arise along the whole food supply chain, from production, processing, and packaging to transport, consumption and disposal. Power and transport systems receive the lion share of attention in the global dialogue and response to climate change, while the nexus between food and climate has been largely absent from the climate conversations. To date, very few countries take a comprehensive view of the food system in their climate action plans.
The United States and China, the two largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, both face similar climate change threats to agriculture--from extreme weather patterns, stronger floods, extended droughts to greater pests and diseases. Climate impacts threaten economic and food security. As food market superpowers, the United States and China are well positioned to lead efforts in green agriculture to address climate change. Notably, green and climate resilient agriculture were priorities highlighted in the U.S.-China Climate Crisis Statement and the U.S.-China Glasgow Declaration in 2021.
At this May 10th CEF meeting, panelists will give an overview of the global food-climate challenge and delve into opportunities for China and the United States to target the food system to help reach their carbon neutral and short-lived climate pollutant reduction goals.
David Sandalow, (Center for Global Energy at Columbia University and co-founder of the Food Climate Partnership) will set the stage, discussing the food system and climate change. Next, Sally Qiu and Hörn Halldórudóttir Heiðarsdóttir will share insights on China’s food-related greenhouse gas emissions.
The next two speakers will turn the conversation to the farms with Zhenzhong Si (Waterloo University) offering some insights into the government's policies and bottom-up agroecological initiatives in China that respond to the social and environmental challenges facing the food system while creating new problems for sustainability. And Karen Mancl (Ohio State University) will examine success in sustainable agriculture in the United States and China and explore policies needed to incentivize farmers.
Patty Fong (Global Alliance for the Future of Food), whose CEF Green Tea Chat laid out the urgency for global food system transformation to address climate change, will be the commentator at this session.
Jennifer L. Turner
Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University
Hörn Halldórudóttir Heiðarsdóttir
China Environment Forum
Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge U.S.-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues. Read more
Environmental Change and Security Program
The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy. Read more
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