02.06.2017 |

Trump’s climate deal pullout threatens agriculture and global food security

Climate change will affect food security (Photo: CC0)

President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement. In a speech he argued that the climate deal signed by 195 nations in December 2015 was a threat to the economy and American workers. Trump’s decision to pull of the climate agreement is a major setback for international efforts to tackle global warming since the U.S. is the world’s second-largest polluter after China. The decision puts the US alongside Syria and Nicaragua, the only two nations who declined to sign the deal. The move was condemned immediately by politicians and environmental campaigners across the globe. “The nations that remain in the Paris agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” said former US President Obama. “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack.” He is confident that the “states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”

The Center for Food Safety, a US-based environmental organization, warned that the decision will threaten US agriculture and could result in increased hunger and malnutrition worldwide. “Agriculture is sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and precipitation and the U.S. is not immune to escalating global threats: in 2016 there were 91 weather, climate or geological disasters in the U.S. including severe storms, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, heat waves and droughts many of these damaging or wiping out crops,” the Center for Food Safety wrote in a press release. “The move is completely irresponsible. The President clearly has no understanding of science, and is willfully ignoring the advice of those who do,” said Diana Donlon, Director of Food and Climate at CFS. In East and Southern Africa, more than 38 million people in 17 countries are currently struggling with food insecurity resulting from consecutive drought. In the Arctic, temperature has increased at twice the rate as the rest of the globe which could weaken or shut down global ocean circulation which would obviously have catastrophic impacts on agriculture. “The Trump administration continues its dangerous pattern of placing short-term corporate dollars ahead of literally all else, including public interests as vital as addressing climate change,” said CFS Legal Director George Kimbrell. “We must continue to demand and force urgent action, to protect food security, farmers, and the planet.” (ab)

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