Organic Consumers Association

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Climate Crisis - Copenhagen - Putting Agriculture Front and Centre in the Discussions over Climate Change

On December 15th, La Via Campesina and a number of other groups will be leading a day of action in Copenhagen to put agriculture front and centre in the discussions over climate change. Although the official Convention is sure to disappoint, these groups will be carrying a message of hope. What they want the world to know is that, in their on-going struggle for food sovereignty, there is a way out of the climate crisis.

GRAIN couldn't agree more. Today's global food system needs an overhaul. According to our calculations, the expansion of the industrial food system is the leading cause of climate change. Through its reliance on fossil fuels, massive exports, market concentration, erosion of soils and expansion of plantations, it generates 44-57% of the total global green house gas (GHG) emissions. This industrial food system is also completely incapable of assuring people's food and livelihood needs as the world moves further into climate change. Already it has left a billion people without enough food to eat, and hundreds of millions of more people will go hungry in the coming years if the food system is not reorganised.

The most devastating consequence of this industrial food system, however, is that it is destroying other food systems that can turn climate change around and provide for the world's food needs.

Forget about carbon markets, geo-engineering and all the other false solutions. Here is a real way out of the climate crisis.*

- By using agroecological practices to rebuild the organic matter in soils lost from industrial agriculture, total GHG emissions can be reduced by 20-35% - By decentralising livestock farming and integrating it with crop production, total GHG emissions can be reduced by 5-9% - By distributing food mainly through local markets instead of transnational food chains, total GHG emissions can be reduced by 10-12% - By stopping land clearing and deforestation for plantations, total GHG
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