The risks that climate change poses for the world’s fertile land and food supplies are at the centre of a scientific UN report that is set to be presented Thursday in Geneva.
The dangers of climate-related land destruction have been highlighted by the recent heat wave and forest fires in the northern hemisphere.
The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to provide policy guidelines on how to protect valuable soil and combat global warming, while preventing hunger and economic decline.
Some of the scientists who drafted the document have spoken of the need to curb consumption in general, in particular meat consumption, as animals such as cows emit greenhouse gases and use up land that could be used to grow foodstuff or forests.
Leading politicians are expected to consider the IPCC’s findings at the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit on September 23 in New York.
The IPCC warned last October that limiting global warming to an average temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is only possible with “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes.”
In the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries pledged to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees – ideally no more than 1.5 degrees – compared to pre-industrial levels of the 19th century.