Climate change will increase malnourishment among children

• December 6, 2012

Creative Commons: Notley Hawkins, 2006

Food prices will more than double and the number of malnourished children spiral if climate change is not checked and developing countries are not helped to adapt their farming, food and water experts warned on Tuesday at the UN climate talks in Doha.

As the UK energy secretary, Ed Davey, and ministers from 194 countriesarrived for the high-level segment of the talks, the UN’s Committee on World Food Security said the world would need a 75-90% increase in food production to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive in 2050. But climate change could reduce yields worldwide by 5-25% over the same period.

“The poor are especially vulnerable. Climate change will increase the number of malnourished children substantially. Smallholder farmers will be particularly hard hit,” said Gerald Nelson, a spokesman for the high-level panel of experts convened by the committee to report on food prospects in the coming 30 years.

Research from Oxfam suggests rice, maize and wheat prices could rise by up to 177% in the next 20 years if climate change is not checked. A combination of extreme events like the drought that affected North America this year and the Russian heatwave in 2008 could raise prices further than two decades of long-term prices, it said.

Read more: The Guardian

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About the Author

Karl Burkart is the Digital Communications Director for the GCCA, the Global Call for Climate Action, and TckTckTck, a network of 400+ diverse organizations working around the world for greater action on the growing problem of climate change. Karl also blogs on technology and the environment for a variety of publications. You can follow him on Twitter @greendig.

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