Climate change: a clear and present danger

Farmers face possible water shortages, flooding, big storm events, heat waves and difficulties in crop and livestock production. Scientists predict extinctions in plant and animal kingdoms as species fail to adapt in time.

Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, said swift action meant stronger agreements. He was speaking at the recent UN Climate Change Conference COP 20 in Lima, Peru. “The more we delay, the more we will pay,” he said.

Edna Molewa, SA’s environmental affairs minister said there was a need for accelerated action, pointing out that delay translated into increased requirements for adaptation.

Farmers from all sectors of agriculture had committed to help fight climate change, but they needed international support, said Dr Theo de Jager. “No constituency is more vulnerable to climate change than the world’s farmers, and no constituency can do more towards mitigation and adaptation to climate change in a shorter space of time than farmers of the world.”

De Jager said urgent and ambitious action was needed to protect ecosystems and food systems from climate change and increasing global greenhouse gas emissions. He urged delegates to acknowledge the vulnerability of farmers and global food security to climate change.