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Food security and health in a changing environment

Food security and health in a changing environment

Tim G Benton, Gonzalo Castro de la Mata, Jessica Fanzo, Renzo Guinto, Sheryl L Hendriks, Hugh Montgomery, Sam Myers

Climate change, caused by ever escalating greenhouse gas emissions, poses a direct threat to human health and survival through exposure to more frequent and severe weather events such as the extremes of heat seen in Europe and Asia in the summer of 2022 and the continued drought in East Africa. Less well appreciated and understood are the hazards caused by other human activity-driven environmental changes, such as biodiversity loss, and how these interact with climate change in an interconnected globalized world to create cascading and systemic risks to people and health systems. Ecological disruption caused by climate change makes global pandemics more likely,1 and both extreme weather and human disease affect food security. Climate change makes conflicts more likely,2 which itself threaten food supplies (as the recent war in Ukraine makes clear). How such combinations interact to threaten global food supplies is the focus of this report.

Executive Summary