We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
On 11 September 2018, the United Nations released its 2018 report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.
The second part of the report uses JRC research to establish a link between climate variability, food security and nutrition .
Number of undernourished people on the rise, partly due to climate trends
According to the report, in 2017 the number of undernourished people increased for the second year in a row, to 821 million, after decreasing for more than 10 years previously.
This heightens the risk that eradicating hunger by 2030, as laid down in the Sustainable Development Goals, will not happen without renewed effort.
Some of the key culprits behind the worsening trend – and a leading cause of food crises – are climate variability and climate extremes. There is also growing evidence that climate change will make hundreds of millions more people nutrient-deficient.
The second part of the report, which includes the main contribution by JRC scientists, calls for urgent steps to speed up and scale up climate action, so as to boost resilience and the capacity to adapt to climate variability and extremes.
In their efforts to prevent risk and address the effects of increased climate variability and extremes, national and local governments can draw on existing policy frameworks.
These include the UNFCCC and the 2015 Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The success of policies addressing these challenges depends, among other things, on better integration across existing global frameworks, stronger institutional capacities and clearer institutional roles.
Solutions require two things: firstly, stronger partnerships; and secondly, multiannual large-scale funding of integrated programmes for disaster risk reduction and management and for climate change adaptation – programmes that deliver a short-, mid- and long-term vision.
Partnerships and vision are at the centre of the European Union's efforts to devise global responses to food crises, to deliver a modern, low-carbon economy, and to mitigate climate change.
For instance, in 2016 the European Commission joined forces with UN bodies and other partners to create the Global Network against Food Crises.
It is a key partner in the One Planet Summit, which will reconvene during the UN General Assembly in New York shortly. And it is also leading on the nutrition agenda: it has been an active member of the Scaling Up Nutrition movement from the outset.
The JRC is the European Commission's science and knowledge service. Working closely with experts from the FAO and the University of Cape Town, its scientists have provided information about climate variability and extremes and their impact on food security and nutrition.
The technical background paper summarising this research will be published as part of the FAO policy report series "FAO Agricultural Development Economics Technical Studies" later this autumn.
Report 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World http://www.fao.org/state-of-food-security-nutrition/en/