IPCC Report to Highlight Urgent Need for Sustainable Land Use and Forest Protection

EDF statement from David Festa, Senior Vice President for Ecosystems

August 6, 2019
Hilary Kirwan, (202) 572-3277, hkirwan@edf.org

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release on August 8 its Special Report on Climate Change and Land, which will detail the major contribution of food production and deforestation to climate change.

“Our best shot at a healthy, prosperous and food-secure future requires us to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the climate impacts we cannot avoid. Making agriculture more sustainable and preserving our forests will help on both fronts.

“The scientific breakthroughs that were so successful in boosting yields in the 20th century to fight global hunger are now threatening our food system. To meet future needs in a changing climate, we must better manage the essential elements that make big yields happen — fertilizer, soil and water. Farmers and ranchers can be part of the climate solution by improving fertilizer efficiency, monitoring their water use, and adopting practices that store more carbon in the soil and make their operations more resilient to extreme weather. We urgently need technological and policy innovations to help more farmers and ranchers break through entrenched cultural, economic and political barriers and adopt these practices.

“Protecting the world’s tropical forests is critical to avoiding the worst effects of climate change. But forests, and their contributions to protecting the climate, are under tremendous threat. That is why we need to ensure tropical forests are worth more standing than when they are cut down for grazing livestock, growing crops or harvesting timber. Fortunately, we can tackle deforestation while producing food sustainably and increasing economic growth by directly working with farmers and ranchers, indigenous people and forest communities.”

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