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Water & Heat Stress to Bring Down Global Food Supply by 6%, Says a New Report

Food insecurity is affecting 72-81 crore people globally and is linked to water insecurity, says a new report.

Shivangi Rai
Water & Heat Stress Bringing Down Global Food Supply
Water & Heat Stress Bringing Down Global Food Supply

The Global Commission on Economics of Water (GCEW) has warned that the food supply in India and across the globe will go down by the year 2050 by at least 6 percent as heat stress and water stress caused by climate change will affect productivity.

The Commission is organized by the Government of the Netherlands and assisted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Its latest report used a large dimensional calculable general equilibrium model to project effects on global irrigated food production and food security.

Food supply shrinkage was predicted for the two climate change scenarios or representative concentration pathways (RCP) rooted in the severity of the greenhouse gas emissions. The optimistic RCP 4.5 is based on a drastic cut in emissions and RCP 8.5 is the worst-case scenario. The model used 2014 as the base year.

The report 'What, Why and How of the World Water Crisis' said, “Even under the best-case climate change scenario of RCP4.5, most African countries experience a rise in the number of people with severe food insecurity by more than one third.”

A 6.52 percent fall in food supply meant the "best case" scenario for India while it was 16.1 percent in the worst-case scenario. In China, it was 8.97 percent and 22.4 percent respectively while the fall in the US was fixed at 4.8 percent and 12.6 percent.

Food insecurity is affecting 72-81 crore people globally and is linked to water insecurity. The report said that the fall in production will push 100 crores of people into serious food insecurity.

The GCEW issued a seven-point agenda for the collective action in another report titled ‘Turning the Tide’: tackling the global water cycle with justice and equity, adopting the outcomes-focussed approach towards water conservation, ceasing under-priced water, phasing out subsidies in agriculture and water, establishing just water partnerships, boosting freshwater storage systems and reshaping the multilateral governance of water.

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