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Policymakers Must Acknowledge Climate Change, Storms, Food Security Connections

“While directly connecting climate change and specific storms has always been difficult, it is easy to see the impact of these super storms on food security,” Bruce Campbell, director of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Copenhagen, writes in CNN’s “Global Public Square” blog, noting Typhoon Haiyan “devastated central Philippines, a mostly agricultural region.” “On a global scale, the accumulated potential impact of these storms on the world’s food supply is quite frightening,” he writes, adding, “Farmers, especially small-scale farmers, are struggling to cope with a climate that is both shifting — the crops they grow now may not bear fruit in future weather conditions — and increasingly unpredictable, with drought one year and too much rain the next.”

“But there is potential relief for even the world’s poorest farmers,” Campbell continues, adding, “With access to better seeds and fertilizer, better planting techniques and better technology to anticipate and plan for seasonal weather changes, they could survive.” He states, “Unfortunately, this looming agriculture crisis has not led to responsible action from climate diplomats,” adding, “Over the past few years, U.N. negotiations have sidestepped the question of how to fund climate change adaptation for agriculture in the least developed nations, passing the buck to whatever forum takes place next.” He concludes, “More and more developing nations are moving forward and addressing the climate crisis with whatever resources they can cobble together. If climate negotiators continue to drag their heels, the rest of the world may simply leave them behind” (11/21).