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StanBlackley Food Revolt

StanBlackley Food Revolt

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Published by Mike Small
Stan Blackley at Fife Diet's Food Revolt gathering
Stan Blackley at Fife Diet's Food Revolt gathering

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Published by: Mike Small on Nov 15, 2011
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Food Revolt Gathering, 12 November 2011

Food… …from Climate Change …to Climate Justice
Stan Blackley Chief Executive Friends of the Earth Scotland

Friends of the Earth Scotland
• Formed 1978 • Small, independent Scottish charity
• Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation

• Member of Friends of the Earth International: largest grassroots environmental network in the world, covering every continent
• Federation of 77 national member groups • Over 2 million supporters worldwide

Our Vision and Guiding Principle
• Our Vision Our vision is of a world where everyone can enjoy a healthy environment and a fair share of the planet’s resources • Our Guiding Principle No less than a decent environment for all, and no more than a fair share of the planet’s resources for everyone

Environmental (In)justice
What is Environmental (In)justice?
•People with the least power and money suffer most from environmental problems and have little access to the planet’s resources •People with the most power and money cause these environmental problems by over-consuming the planet’s resources and polluting the environment

Food – Who’s Hungry?
• 7 billion people in the world • 1 billion people are under-nourished (hungry): that’s 14% or almost 1 in 7 people • At the same time, 1 billion people are obese, and a high proportion are also malnourished

• 200 million children are chronically malnourished
• 6 million children die of hunger every year

Food Inequality
• The world produces enough food to feed everyone • World agriculture produces 17% more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70% increase in population

• That’s enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories per person per day
• Average man needs around 2,500 kcal.p.d • Average woman needs 2,000 kcal.p.d

Population Growth
• 7 billion people in the world today • Projected 9 billion people by 2050 • This population growth will increase consumption, damage the environment, and drive climate change • But population size is not the main problem • Overconsumption and fossil fuel use are the main drivers of inequality, environmental damage and climate change

Environmental Impacts of Food
• Food impacts on the environment at all stages… agriculture, manufacturing, refrigeration, transport, packaging, retail, home, waste etc…
• Agricultural production and industrial processing are the most significant parts of the process

• Impacts include: resource depletion, deforestation and desertification, ozone layer depletion, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, waste production, water use, climate change etc…

How food and drink impacts the environment

Some Facts and Figures
• In the UK, 25%-35% of food purchased is wasted • The top 5 wasted foods are: fruit and veg, dairy, meat and fish, rice and pasta, and bakery items

• 88% of all EU fish stocks are already fished beyond their maximum sustainable yield
• To create one litre of bottled water, 9 litres of water are required for the bottling process

• Buying Kenyan green beans produces 20-26 times more greenhouse gas emissions than buying seasonal UK green beans

Land Footprint
• An indicator of how much land is used, both directly and indirectly, to produce a product
• UK consumption of imported agricultural and forestry products uses up land in other countries equal in size to more than three times the UK • Europe imports nearly 60% of the 640 million hectares of ‘virtual land’ that it depends on for food and clothes

Water Footprint
• An indicator of how much water is used, both directly and indirectly, to produce a product

Climate Change
• Climate change is real, it is happening now, and we are already experiencing its negative impacts • 11 of last 12 years have been the warmest on record

• Global emissions of carbon dioxide increased by 45% between 1990 and 2010
• Carbon dioxide emissions reached an all-time high of 33 billion tonnes in 2010

Climate Change
• Temperatures are projected to rise by about 3°C by 2100 (range: 2.0°C to 4.5°C ) • 2°C rise equals “dangerous climate change” • Already ‘committed’ to a 1°C rise, even if we stop producing any more greenhouse gases

• There is not a single world Government yet meeting its CO2 reduction targets, and the majority still don’t even have targets

Climate Change - Scotland
• Scottish Climate Act is ‘world-leading’ and has the most challenging targets of any climate legislation

• Currently, the Scottish Government is very unlikely to meet these – UK Committee on Climate Change • RPP – only 7-12% of the measures are funded
• We did see reduced carbon emissions in 2010, but this was due to the recession

• Scottish Government action and policy does not match its rhetoric and public relations

Greenhouse Gases
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the the main greenhouse gas, but others are also important, especially for food… •Methane 23 x greater global warming potential than CO2 •Nitrous Oxide 296 x greater global warming potential than CO2 •Refrigerant Gases Thousands of times greater than CO2

The Anthropocene Era
• We have entered a new geological timescale… the anthropocene era

• Meaning "the age of man” • A new, recognised, formal unit of geological time • Human activity is changing the world • Started with the industrial revolution
• Human influence on the environment could leave its own signature stripe in the rocks

Impacts of Climate Change
• Climate and Weather Rising temperatures, more extreme weather events • Marine Rising sea levels, increasing sea temperatures • Land Increased desertification, changes to vegetation • Freshwater Loss of fresh water supplies, salination • Wildlife Biodiversity loss and species extinctions

Impacts of Climate Change
• Food and Water Failing crops, food shortages, water shortages • Disease Increased incidence and spread of disease • Inequality and Refugees Wider gap between rich and poor, ‘climate refugees’ • War and Conflict More wars and conflicts over resources • Economy Damage to global and local economies

Food and Climate Change
• In Europe, the consumption of food and drink causes 15 - 17% of all greenhouse gas emissions
• Meat and dairy are the most greenhouse gas intensive foods

• Global food demand is moving in more greenhouse gas intensive directions
• In total, food and drink causes around 20-30% of all the environmental impacts that we cause in Europe

Climate Change Impact on Cocoa
• A 2°C rise in average temperatures by 2050 will make much of the Ivory Coast and Ghana too hot to grow cocoa for chocolate • Cocoa suitability will decline as soon as 2030, as average temperatures increase

• These countries are the world’s main producers • Farmers in these countries are particularly vulnerable since cocoa production is often their primary source of income

Climate Change Impact on Coffee
• Starbucks is warning of a severe threat to world coffee supplies because of climate change
• Arabica bean farmers are already seeing the effects of a changing climate

• These include more severe weather events, such as hurricanes and droughts, reduced crop yields and increased / resistant disease • Starbucks is actively lobbying the Obama administration to act on climate change

Social Impacts of Food
• Food also has impacts on society, communities and individuals…

• In developing nations, these can include: land grabbing, displacement of communities, human rights abuses, slavery, shortages of land for living on, shortages of food, ill health etc… • In developed nations, these are largely health-related, however high food prices are causing ‘food and fuel poverty’

Soy Growing in Paraguay
• • • • • • • Grown in massive monoculture Grown by big unscrupulous companies Over 90% GM seed – introduced illegally Resistant to Round Up (glyphosate) Drives pesticide use Degrades soil quality Increases synthetic fertiliser use

Soy Growing in Paraguay
• • • • • • • • Up to 90% of Paraguay’s native forests lost Massive losses of biodiversity, including pollinators Extreme water problems / shortages Displaced indigenous / peasant communities Inequality, food shortages and starvation Destitution leading to desperation Human rights abuses Damaged and ill health

Soy Growing in Paraguay
• Paraguay’s largest export • 2010/11 season saw a record soy crop of 8.4 million tonnes

• In 2010 – up to 60% was exported to Europe • In Europe, it is used to feed chickens and pigs (often in intensive farming systems)
• This is a crime against humanity! • What we eat is driving this…

• Maize and sugar cane converted to ethanol • Palm and soy converted to biodeisel • Release 17 to 420 times more carbon than the annual savings from replacing fossil fuels • This happens through land use changes • All petrol and diesel sold at UK pumps now has to include at least 5% biofuels • Now being used in aviation • Burning food while people starve is obscene!

Food or Fuel?
• Nestlé, Olayan Group, PepsiCo, Unilever • Lobbied G20 leaders about the impact of biofuels incentives on food prices • Called for immediate action from the G20 to address record spikes in food prices • Food prices are set to double in the next 20 years • Demand for biofuels is contributing to food shortages, competition for land and water, and increasing environmental damage

Food Politics / Business
• • • • • Undemocratic food system Currently unable to provide food security for all Food contributes to environmental damage Food contributes to poverty and inequality Commodification of food and agriculture has created a privatised and volatile food system • WTO promotes free trade ideology, which has led to a situation in which hunger co-exists with food surplus and waste • Food speculation is a major problem

What Do We Need To Do?
Global Governments and the UN should: • Address food security, sustainability and sovereignty issues – create a new food politic • Halt farmland expansion and land clearing for agricultural purposes – reform biofuels policies • Promote smaller scale farming and localism • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste, and minimise environmental impacts • Secure economic justice and provide funds for the global south / developing world

What Do We Need To Do?
In Scotland, the Scottish Government should: • Increased, urgent action on Climate Change • A Green Procurement Bill / Act • A public right to grow (allotments and urban land) • Land Value Taxation (replacing the Council Tax) • Support small retailers and producers • More projects like Fife Diet (CCF funding) • Feed into CAP Reform to improve farming • Shift / change diets (e.g. 20:20:20)

Eating a Low Carbon Diet
• • • • • • • • • Change the balance of what we eat (less meat) Eat seasonally and locally (less transportation) Eat more fresh food (less packaging / refrigeration) Shop more frequently (but not by car) Eat more robust foods (less waste) Avoid eating certain foods (such as air-freighted) Cook more efficiently (waste less energy) Waste less food (avoid over-buying) Grow your own (buy less)

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