PARIS – Production disruptions caused by climate change is likely to impede global food security initiatives, the US Dept. of Agriculture said in its “Climate Change, Global Food Security and the US Food System” report. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the report during the COP-21 Paris Climate Conference.

“The past six years have been a success story in terms of global food security,” Vilsack said in a statement. “Two hundred million fewer people are food insecure today than they were six years ago. The challenge we now face is whether we can maintain and even accelerate this progress despite the threats from climate change. The report we are releasing today highlights these challenges and offers pathways to avoid the most damaging effects of climate change.”

Among USDA’s findings:

• Climate change is projected to result in disruptions to food availability, access and utilization. The risks are greatest for the poor and communities in tropical regions.

• The threat of climate change extends to processing, storage, transportation and consumption of food.

• Accurately projecting climate-change risks to food security requires consideration of other large-scale changes such as population growth, land degradation and technological developments.

“The report found that climate change is likely to cause disruptions in food production and a decrease in food safety, which in turn leads to local availability limitations and increases in food prices, with these risks greatest for the global poor and in tropical regions,” said Dr. John Holdren, assistant to the President for Science and Technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “Accurately identifying needs and vulnerabilities, and effectively targeting adaptive practices and technologies across the full scope of the food system, are central to improving global food security in a changing climate.”

USDA’s report is a peer-reviewed scientific assessment that identifies climate change effects on global food security. The assessment is a contribution to the US National Climate Assessment, is called for under the President’s Climate Action Plan, and was led by USDA.

Read the report: