Raising Ambitions for Food Systems and Climate Change by Uniting Science and Policy
Food systems contribute over 30% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a number that is expected to rise as populations grow and as other sectors decarbonize. At the same time, growing affluence and urbanization are predicted to lead to changing dietary preferences with significant impacts on land use, water, energy consumption and, importantly, GHG emissions. Addressing the looming challenges of climate change, food security and satisfactory nutrition will require novel and interdisciplinary efforts at the intersection of food, energy, and climate.
Food systems science and policy domains have often been siloed in academia. Bridging the gap between scientists and policy experts is needed in order to effectively — and quickly — reduce the carbon footprint of food systems, while also advancing global food security. This event aims to bring together leading experts from the food systems science and policy research communities, with a keynote address from a policymaker (TBC) who is on the front lines of advancing climate-smart food systems. The event will help establish the nascent food program at the Columbia University Climate School, and ensure that the “Fourth Purpose” of the university is enshrined in the DNA of its food systems work.
Themes 1. Adopting a food system approach: How can research and policy experts from across thematic silos develop a cross-cutting climate agenda through the lens of food? 2. Food systems mitigation opportunities: Where are the biggest opportunities for GHG emissions mitigation from the food system? What is needed to unlock them? 3. From research to action: How can policymakers and researchers in the food system community work together to more effectively address the climate crisis?
- David Sandalow, CGEP, Inaugural Fellow, former Under-Secretary for International Affairs at US DOE
- Francesco Tubiello, FAO, Senior Statistician and internationally renowned climate scientist
- Walter Baethgen, Earth Institute, Senior Research Scientist, leader ACToday project
- Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA GISS, Senior Research Scientist, co-lead AgMIP
The Climate Group has selected the Columbia Climate School as its university partner for this year’s Climate Week NYC. Running Sept. 20-26, Climate Week NYC convenes key climate leaders to accelerate climate action and discuss ambitious commitments ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, later this fall in Glasgow.