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  • MPs warn of UK climate change food shortages
    Extreme weather could result in UK food shortages

MPs warn of UK climate change food shortages

Jul 01 2014

Climate change could result in food shortages as adverse weather affects growing conditions, according to a new report. MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee have warned that current supply chains could be affected by global warming, meaning the UK could face future food shortages.

The report has called on supermarkets to take steps to develop shorter supply chains that are less likely to be affected by the increasingly unpredictable weather created by rising global temperatures. Severe weather events could mean that supplies to Britain is cut off, pushing up food prices.

MPs involved in the report have also suggested that the government is not doing enough to deal with the very genuine risk that climate change creates in terms of food supply chains and shortages. 

This new report follows on from one released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was released earlier this year. According to the IPCC, global warming is likely to have a negative impact on crops. As well as affecting growing seasons created by unpredictable rainfall, the warmer temperatures are also likely to increase crop pests.

At the moment, the UK is able to produce food 68 per cent of the time, whereas 20 years ago, the country could produce food 80 per cent of the time. This is likely to drop further as global temperatures increase. 

The report suggests the UK should place a stronger focus on self-reliance by increasing its resilience to changing weather patterns. In this way, the country will be better able to avoid food shortages, while also being better equipped to deal with instances of extreme weather, which have caused excessive damage throughout the nation in recent years.

"Complacency is a genuine risk to future UK food security," said Anne McIntosh, chair of the committee. "If we want our food production and supply systems to be secure, government and food producers must plan to meet the impacts of climate change, population growth and increasing global demand for food."   


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