In our world very little operates in a vacuum.
The activities of the human race tend to be very inter-connected, with what happens in one sector having a ripple effect into other areas of our lives.
For example, there are those who focus a lot of attention on reducing the use of fossil fuels, in part because it is a finite resource, and of more immediate concern what burning coal and using gasoline a diesel has on the atmosphere.
But, what is the impact of renewable energy options?
Do we need to worry about utilizing a finite farmland base to grow crops for biofuels in a world where we know people still go to bed hungry, and the populations continues to grow, meaning more mouths to feed?
And what of dealing with storage batteries when they fail? Or the blades and gears and towers of wind farms?
Certainly there is growing awareness of what we do with our garbage having a huge impact on the environment. The problem of plastics, which can take hundreds of years to degrade in nature, polluting world oceans is now a thing of headlines.
How we address that issue alone is a huge question we must answer as caretakers of this planet.
We tend to look at agriculture as doing things rather well in terms of sustainability, with increased awareness to protecting waterways and wildlife.
However, a United Nations’ Food Systems Summit, which will be held in New York this fall, may well show the sector, at least on a worldwide basis is not doing so well.
And, if that is the case, what will the response be? It is likely going to be a response which impacts how farmers farm.
It was the UN Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting in Paris in 2015 that got the ball rolling on the upcoming Food Systems Summit. Delegates attending the COP meeting learned that food production was responsible for 12 gigatons of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
That was about 25 per cent of emissions, not from coal fired factories, or grid-locked cars on city freeways, or passenger planes and ocean freighters.
Now the UN has never been quick in coming to binding agreements. Getting a deal on world agricultural trade tends to be a process that drags on for years, and typically ends up so watered down its impact is hard to notice, but world climate change has many much more focused on solutions, so what comes out of this process may hit sooner than later.
And, it will impact farming, the energy sector, and given their dual importance, it will ripple widely.
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