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Climate Change Impact On Food Will Go Beyond Production

A study launched last week in the Lancet has found that as many as 529,000 people may die as a result of changes in diet, weight, and health due to climate change impacts on food production. This study is further evidence that the impacts of climate change are real, they are dire, and the need to act is urgent.

Much of the research on climate change and agriculture to date has examined the impacts of climate change on food production: how much food will be available. What has not been adequately explored - and what this study is a first and critical step forward in examining - is how those climate-induced impacts on food production will in turn affect nutrition and health.

It begins to ask what kind of food will be available, what people will consume, and what influence that will have.

The study is a reflection of the myriad and complex ways in which climate change will impact hunger and malnutrition (including lack of food, vitamins and minerals, as well as obesity). In its 2014 assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made clear that climate change will impact all aspects of food security.

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