IFPRI to release major climate change and food security report on December 1

Expansive study provides most comprehensive analysis to date on the scope of the climate change – food security relationship
November 15, 2010

Feeding a growing world population, likely to reach 9 billion by 2050, poses an unprecedented challenge to human ingenuity. How to satisfy the demand for food by the some 8 billion people who will live in the developing world is a particularly pressing food security question. Even in the best of circumstances, sustainably satisfying the increased demand for crops and livestock by these people will be an enormous challenge. The negative consequences of climate change on food production make meeting these food requirements even more daunting. The 2010 floods in Pakistan and excessive heat and drought in Russia offer just glimpses of global food security’s troubled future.

On December 1, IFPRI will shed light on how to solve this urgent challenge with the release of its latest research on food security and climate change. A follow-up to its widely-read 2009 food policy report, this research monograph, Food Security, Farming, and Climate Change to 2050: Scenarios, Results, Policy Options, expands on IFPRI’s cutting-edge climate modeling expertise to address the climate change threat in the context of larger food security challenges.

Building on previous research by IFPRI and other international organizations, the research monograph considers three combinations of income and population growth: a baseline scenario (with moderate income and population growth), a pessimistic scenario (with low income growth and high population growth), and an optimistic scenario (with high income growth and low population growth). The study combines each of these three income/population scenarios with four plausible climate scenarios that range from slightly to substantially wetter and hotter on average, as well as with an implausible scenario of perfect mitigation (a continuation of today’s climate into the future). Based on 15 possible scenarios to 2050, the results constitute the most comprehensive analysis to date on the scope of climate change as it relates to food security, including who will be most affected and what policymakers can do to facilitate adaptation.

The report will be released in Mexico and Washington, DC:

December 1: Cancun, Mexico, Moon Palace Hotel, 11 a.m. (EST)

December 1: Washington DC, IFPRI headquarters, Policy Seminar, 11 a.m. (EST)

December 3: Cancun, Mexico, Gran Melia Hotel, 8 a.m. (EST)