People and civil society organizations around the world have been raising alarm over the worsening food crisis. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, food-poor people have increased by 112 million more, bringing the total number of those who could not afford healthy diets to 3.1 billion in 2020. In 2021, 31.9 percent of women worldwide did not have access to affordable, sufficient food, compared to 27.6 percent of men. Inequality also increased during the pandemic, with the wealth of billionaires and corporate profits soaring to record levels. In the food sector, the wealth of billionaires increased by a billion dollars every two days.
According to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change is already affecting every inhabited region across the globe. Its impacts are projected to increase in the coming decades -- at 1.5°C of global warming, there will be increasing heat waves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons while at 2°C, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health. Agriculture absorbs the disproportionate share of 63% of impact from these disasters, with the least developed countries (LDCs) and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) bearing the major brunt of these scourges.
With more intense and frequent extreme weather events and longer dry seasons devastating countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, people and communities in the Global South suffer the most from the impacts of climate change on our food systems. The most affected are the livelihoods of smallholder and subsistence farmers, pastoralists, and fishers. The climate impacts on agricultural production include rainfall regime change, an increase in the amount of heavy rainfall, diseases, and insect damage. The effects on fishery production include seawater warming, ocean acidification, increased frequency of debris flows, rainfall regime change, typhoon intensity, and sea level rise. The impacts on coastal and offshore fishery production include the disappearance of part of the sedentary and migratory species; a change or going away of seasonal swimming habits, which leads to decreased fishery production; a change in the composition of caught species; an imbalance in the ecosystem; and increased difficulty in fishing operations.
Today, as the Global South commemorates World Food Day, we call on our world leaders to urgently address the food crisis, especially in the face of the escalating climate crisis.
Much of the current responses to the food and climate crises rely heavily on technologies that promise to increase agricultural yields, improve crop resilience, and ultimately address food scarcity at the expense of our land, oceans, and forests, further threatening the livelihoods of small food producers, rural communities, and indigenous peoples. These corporate-led and profit-driven responses are not real solutions to the problem.
According to the UN Special Rapporteur on Food, the world is still in a food crisis today and faces the threat of rising rates of hunger, famine, and malnutrition because many governments and international institutions have failed to listen to the most vulnerable communities and respond to their demands. They have refused to cooperate and coordinate, and have decided instead to enable agri food businesses.
In the face of the climate crisis, we call on governments to act decisively to build robust and climate resilient food systems that prioritize their citizens, not the global market.
We call for robust, sustainable, climate-resilient, and agroecological food systems aimed at producing adequate and healthy food for all. Unsustainable industrial agricultural production systems are significant contributors to climate change with high emissions of greenhouse gasses – in particular from concentrated livestock facilities and excessive use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.
We call for actions to strengthen food systems that are aimed at producing for domestic needs instead of the global market; ensure equitable access and distribution to sufficient and nutritious food; end the promotion of false solutions and harmful technologies; and protect the rights of food producers, especially women who comprise 60% of agriculture workers.
Finally, we call for actions to change the dominant ways of producing food and rapidly shift from the carbon-intensive corporate-dominated, industrial agricultural systems to sustainable, climate-resilient agroecological systems aimed at producing adequate, healthy, and affordable food for all.
September 26, 2022
In the face of rapidly intensifying climate impacts – with compelling evidence provided by the UN’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) year after year – most governments around the world now gathered at the UN General Assembly are failing to take bold and decisive actions towards the systemic changes that need to be made.
The devastating impacts of the climate crisis is most dramatically and tragically demonstrated by the recent catastrophic flooding that saw a third of Pakistan under water. The floods, attributed to the climate crisis by scientific modeling, have killed more than 1,500 people, displaced 33 million, destroyed homes, livelihoods, public health facilities, water systems, and schools. Pakistan’s climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, said the country is overwhelmed with the cost of rebuilding and adapting to new extreme weather. Just providing for baseline disaster needs such as shelter and food requires billions in immediate funding, and billions more in funding are needed to rebuild livelihoods. She implored: “It is not unreasonable to ask why countries with a negligible carbon footprint, like Pakistan, must pay for global warming catastrophes we had no part in creating.”
Trillions of dollars are needed annually by developing countries (the Global South), to adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change impacts, recover from the loss and damage, and ensure a rapid and just transition to fossil fuel free and equitable economies that give primacy to the rights and well being of people and the health of the planet.
Rich, industrialized countries (the Global North) are obligated to provide new, additional and adequate climate finance for the Global South for these needs, as stipulated in the legally binding UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that they agreed to and ratified more than 3 decades ago. They are not fulfilling these obligations, even failing to meet the $100 billion per year which they pledged more than a decade ago which is only a very small fraction of what is needed. The climate finance that was counted as delivered includes other financial flows that should not have been counted. For instance, $78 billion climate finance was supposedly delivered in 2018. But it is estimated that public climate financing may actually be at only $19 billion–$22.5 billion in 2017–2018 because some countries incorrectly count development aid as part of climate finance.
Their perverted priorities are clear. Governments of rich countries were quick to bail out banks and corporations in the trillions of dollars during the global finance crisis. They give subsidies to fossil fuel industries multiple times more than their actual climate finance delivery and their support for renewable energy. Public financing for fossil fuels by the G7 nations alone totalled over USD 100 billion from 2018 to 2020, four times its support for renewable energy.
We condemn the deception, delays and inaction of the governments of the Global North to evade the delivery of their climate finance obligations.
We strongly call for action to address food in the context of the climate crisis.
We call for a sustainable, climate-resilient agroecological system aimed to produce adequate and healthy food for all. Unsustainable industrial agricultural production systems are significant contributors to climate change, with high emissions of greenhouse gasses – in particular from concentrated livestock facilities and excessive use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.
Much of the current responses to the food and climate crisis rely heavily on technologies that promise to increase agricultural yields, improve crop resilience and ultimately address food scarcity at the expense of our land, oceans and forests, further threatening the livelihoods of small food producers, rural communities and indigenous peoples. These corporate-led and profit-driven responses are not real solutions to the problem.
We strongly call for scaled up climate finance that will fund adaptation and provide a separate financial facility dedicated to the Loss and Damage needs of vulnerable countries.
There is an urgent need to step up climate adaptation finance. The climate finance that has been delivered has been disproportionately directed to mitigation efforts. Adaptation accounts for just 7% of total climate finance that has been delivered. We urge world leaders to scale up adaptation programs and financing alongside their actions to reduce emissions.
Climate change impacts that cannot be avoided either by mitigation, adaptation or other measures like disaster risk management are called Loss and Damage. There is currently no financial target set for loss and damage. The projected economic cost of loss and damage by 2030 is estimated to be between $290 and $580 billion in developing countries alone.
Addressing Loss and Damage is at the core of the climate justice fight. Countries that are least responsible for the climate crisis should not bear the costs alone. We need funds to rebuild and recover from the damages, but these funds must be provided through non-debt-creating climate finance, as part of the reparations for the huge climate debt owed by the Global North.
We condemn the promotion of false solutions packaged under the concept of Net Zero pledges of rich countries.
The world’s biggest polluters are pretending that they are responding to the climate crisis urgently and sufficiently. In truth, they use false solutions through Net Zero pledges which are nothing but a façade to disguise weak climate targets and evade responsibility for business-as-usual practices.
The Net Zero scheme is heavily based on the assumption that unproven technologies and mechanisms can offset continued GHG emissions by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We call for radically reducing emissions to Real Zero, which requires rapid and drastic cuts in emissions, and challenging economic models and powerful interests that are at the root of the climate crisis.
Climate change is causing horrific impacts worldwide, especially in the Global South. It is crucial for the UNGA77 to deliver climate justice for developing countries immediately. We don’t want more band-aid solutions to the climate crisis.
PRESS RELEASE | February 9, 2022
Southeast Asian civil society organizations and movements yesterday called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to establish a formal mechanism to address adaptation to climate change and loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. The call was made during an international conference organized by ActionAid Vietnam and Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) held Tuesday. More than 40 organizations from across Asia participated in the virtual Southeast Asian Conference on Climate Change Impacts and Actions, which issued dire warnings on the impacts of climate change on food and agriculture in the region.
Southeast Asia is already suffering the devastating consequences of climate change severely affecting food production and access, and small food producers. We are facing even more horrific scenarios in the coming decades. We call on the ASEAN and Southeast Asian governments to scale up appropriate and timely responses to climate change impacts, both current and projected, specifically to empower and enable our countries, peoples and communities to build resilience and deal with loss and damage caused by climate change,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of APMDD.
Nacpil added that the brunt of the impacts of climate change is being felt by farmers, fishers, agro-pastoralists, agricultural workers, rural communities and women in Southeast Asia who depend on natural resources for their livelihoods.
Hoang Phuong Thao, executive director of ActionAid Vietnam, said a Southeast Asian civil society report and recommendations to the ASEAN on the impacts of climate change will be issued this month ahead of the Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the concluding report for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). Hoang said the civil society report will focus on the impacts of climate change on food and agriculture in Southeast Asia.
“Climate change is undermining Southeast Asian people and communities’ ability to produce and access food in the future. We plan to engage the ASEAN to establish a formal mechanism to address adaptation to climate change and loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. We will engage governments as well to address agriculture livelihoods resilience in the face of climate change,” said Hoang.
A study on the impacts of droughts and floods on croplands and crop production in Southeast Asia found that droughts and floods affected 13.1 M ha of croplands in the region and about 20.6 M tons of crop production was lost between 2015 and 2019. Moreover, numerous studies in the region have suggested that both inland and marine fishery production have started declining because of climate variation and climate-induced disasters. The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in August predicts that Southeast Asia will be hit by rising sea levels, heat waves, and drought.
The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in August predicts that Southeast Asia will be hit by rising sea levels, heat waves, and drought.
“We challenge the ASEAN and its member governments towards greater cooperation on climate change policies and actions that place the rights and well being of communities and peoples at the center. The ASEAN could and should play a crucial role in the development and scaling up of effective responses to climate change impacts and the imperatives of building resilience and empowering peoples and communities of Southeast Asia,” said Wanun Permpibul, director of Climate Watch Thailand.
“We would like the ASEAN and its member states to call for immediate and significant increase in the overall levels of climate finance pledges by developed countries, beyond the $100 billion a year. This $100 billion goal is only a fraction of what is actually needed to address adaptation and loss and damage,” said Titi Soentoro, executive director of Aksi! for gender, social and ecological justice in Indonesia.
The effects of climate change which cannot be avoided or adapted to are predicted to cost US$1.2 trillion per year by 2060. Soentoro said this must be considered separately from adaptation and institutional mechanisms and must prioritize the most vulnerable people. Climate finance must be delivered as public funds, not as private investments that expect returns, and not in the form of loans and other debt creating instruments, she added.
The conference participants discussed five recommendations to be released as part of the report. These include the call to the ASEAN to establish an ASEAN Framework and Mechanism For Adaptation and Loss and Damage Program and Action. Speakers and participants strongly criticized Southeast Asian governments’ and the ASEAN’s current frameworks, commitments, policies, plans and actions for addressing climate change impacts as still very short of what is urgently needed.#
Lani C. Villanueva
The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) stands in solidarity with women all over the world in raising their voice against all forms of gender-based violence and in calling to end all forms of discrimination, exploitation and oppression that women face amid the climate crisis.