Thank you very much, Alexandre.
We will now take questions.
And I would also ask you to give us your name and organisation, if any.
And if you stand as well, thank you very much.
We've a number of microphones so if you covet the unused microphone
I can then call you in all the quicker.
Thank you sir. I'd like to congratulate you on your presentation it's been excellent.
You mentioned there in your presentation that the biggest emissions
in agriculture is methane and nitrous oxide
and that carbon dioxide is trapped or captured actually.
And emissions in Ireland from farm animals account for about 29% at the moment.
I'd like to know would it be possible to capture some of this methane to produce biofuels?
And the second supplementary question would be:
what volume of methane would a cow produce per annum?
And next section would be: is the demand for biofuels expected to increase?
Thank you sir.
I'm not sure I really understood the second question but
You can take the first question.
Production of biogas is definitely a good way of using methane for the reason I wrote.
It's a win, win, win thing because there are less emissions of methane,
you produce renewable energy and you produce fertilizers.
So it's less synthetic fertilizers produced.
So it's definitely a good opportunity but it is of course more difficult
in grazing systems such as those you have in Ireland.
Then the question of the demand for biofuels is a tricky one.
As I have said it is very linked to national policies which are -
or at least the liquid biofuels which we generally think about when you speak about biofuels-
so it depends, I've shown you projections until 2020 and then we'll see.
Because everybody estimates that in 10 years there will be new techniques
the so called "second generation biofuels" which could produce biofuels from grass,
from wood and for by-products
so the situation would be slightly different.
That is one point and the other thing is that I said that in biofuels
you have the liquid biofuels the one everybody thinks about ethanol and diesel
but they are also all the uses of biomass to produce energy
including in developing countries for cooking and for various reasons
and this one is going to increase with population increase, definitely.
Thank you that was an excellent lecture and I really liked the fact that you have solutions
for food security and all it takes now is political will.
I just had a question on the tree the Faidherbia Albida (I cannot remember exactly).
Is it fast growing and can it grow in this hemisphere?
And just more information on that tree that takes nitrogen, thank you.
It's a species which is known in the Sahel for a long time
and it was traditionally used in the Sahel
But a great part of them died during the drought period which began at the end of the '70s,
either because of the drought or because
too important a part of it has been given as fodder to the livestock
because there was nothing else.
So there is now a general movement to spread it again in Niger,
in Burkina Faso, in Mali, in Senegal, in all these dry areas because for the reasons I said
but it's definitely a tree of these dry areas.
Could it grow in Europe?
I don't think so, I'm afraid not.
Gerry Murphy from UCC
We have very high production of greenhouse gas from agriculture in Ireland
and because of climate change, we have to reduce that considerably, 20% by 2020
Now we have the most efficient production of beef, I mean grams CO2 per kilogramme of beef.
When we get oil from oil producing countries, we produce emissions in Ireland.
we export 85% of our beef, should there not be a mechanism that
the emissions go with the beef to the other country?
Because if we don't produce the beef, there will be higher greenhouse gas
on a world scale because beef produced for example in Uruguay has more carbon.
So Ireland has to reduce its climate emissions, has to reduce beef as a result
because we can't keep doing beef.
Is there a mechanism that we are very efficient at producing beef
that we can continue but not take the emissions?
This is a very interesting question.
But it is not only agricultural. What I have tried to point out is that
we have a worldwide concern about efficiency of food systems including agriculture
because we have to feed, to give food to the population, and then to mitigate.
So worldwide it's quite easy.
Then there is the question: where should the emissions be accounted for
in the producing country or the consuming one?
That's a general question, including for industrial products
and it's not for me to have an opinion on that.
That's one point.
No but why not?
You are one of the leaders of opinion, you are a scientist, so how come-
I think it's an extraordinarily good...it's a big question.
It is a very big one, but I mean it's typically not an agricultural question.
It takes the whole issue of where do we account for it?
And if we do so we would also account for in Ireland
for the production of all the Chinese goods that we use which are produced in China
which is exactly the position of China actually, so that's one point.
And then the second point is that emissions as any accounted for economic factor
is also a way to take into account the comparity of advantages of various countries
and it is for each country to choose how they manage their national emissions.
But there would be many other examples
you have chosen an example which suits our argument
but the Chinese example comes the other way.
Can I ask one more general question?
Is there attention being paid to this very big question?
Because it immediately brings in to all world trade and where do you measure?
And yet it is one planet which is why we are discussing it at all.
Is it being usefully discussed and debated or are there more urgent things
we just need to get on with, each country handling its own primary emissions?
And getting its statistics right?
I think that two points here; the first one is that the idea that mentioned
is much more talked about for water with this idea of virtual water
which would be a way of preventing very dry areas from exporting their water.
The idea is a very powerful one but for emissions
it's more difficult to imagine another scheme
because we already have an international convention
which is now working for quite a long time.
That's one point and the second one is that
the only way to have a government responsible for it
is for him to have a way to implement policies
and it's much more easy to implement policies on producers than on consumers.
OK. Thank you very much for that question.
Yes whoever has the microphone first?
Chairman thank you.
Ger Bergin is my name from the Irish Farmers Association, climate change spokesman.
Very interesting lecture very informative, just two quick questions, chairman.
One; I noticed Alexandre in his presentation talked about efficiency and resource efficiency
and how you would measure greenhouse gas emissions output and I just wanted to ask him
would moving towards a measurement per unit of production
per kilo of milk solids, per kilo of beef for example,
be a more efficient way of accounting first of all for the output?
And secondly a way then of comparing and measuring
and seeing where the improvements would come from, the breeding and feeding,
all the efficiencies that we referred to.
And a second question I wanted to ask him
is just a comment on grass based systems like Ireland, where does he see them fitting in?
Does he see them as efficient?
We are extending our grazing season here for milk and beef production in particular
and where might that fit in and can it be of benefit? Thank you chairman.
Thank you for these questions, the first one about efficiency.
It is of course and I've used it and FAO has used it in a report on dairy farming
and it's going to issue reports on all livestock productions
estimating the efficiency in terms of greenhouse gases of the various systems
and the only way to compare them is emissions per kilo of output.
And globally the Irish graze based system is a very efficient graze based system.
No question about it.
But still some very, very intensive systems
which are using more intense feed generate less methane emissions
because of the way cows are digesting.
So if you compare, only taking into account climate change,
if you compare grass based systems with some very intense, even more intensive, systems
the performance in terms of emissions is better in very, very intensive systems.
But grass based systems first are the only way to use grass to produce food
that's one thing and then there are also other environmental impacts to take into account;
water quality, preservation of biodiversity,
especially in Europe where we have old grass based systems.
But the Irish grass based one is probably one of the more efficient in the world
with New Zealand and I don't know what other.
Thank you, you mentioned soil management...
Can you stand up?
..soil management and the carbon sequestration of soils having a high impact
could you comment on biochar?
I'll be a bit at a loss to comment on biochar because there is
quite a few countries which are now interested in the issue
and launching research programmes in order to have clear ideas on the issue
and FAO is also considering how we can make an opinion really on that.
So right now I am unable to say anything more.
I think the three words you are looking for which my wife tells me are very important are
'I don't know'. She thinks I don't use them enough!
I don't represent anyone but I'm just concerned on more of a global issue
you mentioned earlier the biofuels.
Do you think currently that the world is in a position to focus on biofuels?
Seeing as we are seeing that the world food prices increase because of
maybe an over-investment into biofuels in some big exporting countries?
This is a very legitimate concern and the price spikes of last year
have been acknowledged by certain analysis as having a component
which could be related to the development of biofuels in certain countries.
This is why I was linking it really to political decisions.
That's one point. Another one is that there is now a global bio-energy partnership
which is devising a set of sustainability indicators for biofuels
which are environmental indicators and food security indicators.
They are in the final process of reviewing by civil society, NGOs and so on.
And then the issue of biofuel and its links with the production of food
are complicated because for instance in Europe
it is partly because of the production of biofuels that set-aside has been stopped
so to a certain extent, land has been used which wouldn't have been used on another way
but definitely and it's a global issue we have about land use.
We don't have enough land to do all the things we would like to do with it;
more forest to enhance carbon stocks, more biofuels in order to use less fossil energy
and more food because we need it.
There are very difficult land management issues at a global level
which is one of the reasons I was saying that we need to find the proper tools
for governance of the whole system
because what is done in an area has consequences on another area.
It is what we call about biofuels the 'indirect land use changes'
because if you grow corn for ethanol in a certain area instead of sending it as feed or food
it means that other corn has to be produced on an other area.
And this is exactly why the indicators to which I was referring
are designed to assess for each production what incidence
it will have on the various stakes either environmental or food security.
Yes, with the microphone.
Barbara White. Thank you very much your presentation.
One of your slides referred to the importance of using indigenous varieties
for climate change adaptation.
What is the FAO position in terms of promoting hybrid varieties
which require high inputs versus a farmer's varieties?
As I said, in order to tackle with all the issues that we have to tackle with
in agriculture which is producing more and adapt to climate change
we need all these genetic resources.
When you ask me about hybrid varieties do not necessarily require more input.
The fact that they are hybrid is they use different traits coming from different varieties
and most of these varieties are old varieties or improved varieties.
We need to have all the resources in order to provide to a specific farmer
the variety he needs in his field in his specific conditions
to feed his family with what he wants and this is why we need all the resources.
Paul Schwartzman, good evening.
Would you please share your thoughts on the role of organic agriculture
and the promotion of vegetarianism in addressing climate change?
Two different and not easy issues.
The first thing about organic is that we have to distinguish between certified organic farming
and the fact that in a very important part of the world
agriculture is organic because it has no input.
Considering that we have to increase production that we are facing more and more risks.
Organic farming is a very good way to know more
about natural processes which can enhance sustainably production.
The intensification of production which I've described
sustainable intensification of production
is using very many concepts which is coming from organic farming
which is a kind of laboratory of how you can produce more with less input
because this is what organic farming is doing basically.
So it is a very good way to improve production where you don't want for various reasons
not only environmentally but economically produce more with less input.
That's one thing
and then definitely the increase of consumption of animal products
has a huge effect on the need to produce more feed for this livestock.
But keep in mind that being vegetarian is something very complicated
you need to find all the micronutrients you need in the proper quantity
in the various foods that you can have.
A lot of people in the world cannot afford that and as I said there are 2 billion people malnourished
and very often the easiest way and the more easily used by humans
is to have these micronutrients coming from animal products.
And then also considering the increase of livestock consumption, livestock related products,
where in certain areas of the world the consumption of meat is still very, very low
it is around 13 kilos per capita in Africa.
Which means that very many persons don't ever eat meat, they only eat cereals
which is not a balanced diet.
Can I put this question to you? Is the whole issue say of Fairtrade
which gives the consumer, I think it's a western idea I suppose, but it matters
and I needn't say it in this room because people wouldn't come to a meeting like this
if they weren't already well disposed towards the idea.
I think when you get say Fairtrade coffee now,
it's just captured in the last 10 or 15 years most institutions,
where the collective workplace will insist on it and it happens.
So it's beginning presumably to matter but that raises a bigger question.
Paying the consumer appropriately the right price
for the raw materials that we all consume in the West.
Is that part of this issue?
And how do you leverage it and bring the multinationals on board?
Because the one thing about multinationals is they're vain.
They are into corporate social responsibility
you couldn't overestimate the vanity of the multinationals.
The first thing is that very many small holders are not linked to markets.
It is only kind of niche which are getting to developed countries
so the trade is more going the other way
we are exporting to developing countries more than we are importing.
Then of course Fairtrade is a good tool to improve the income of these small holders.
It has done an important effect on certain products coffee, cacao and vanilla,
and things like that, even if it takes some time and some trouble to construct
all the proper chain and to have them certified.
So it improves their income and so they can buy food
so definitely it is a tool to help for the private sector and consumers
to get involved in the development in agriculture.
One of the reasons why I took an example of coffee was to show that
growing food is also a way to get some income and income is a way to buy food.
So you are right it is an important issue.
And it is also educational to all the people.
It brings them onto this agenda. Yes?
Yes, what is the FAO doing - sorry my name is Miren -
I want to know what is the Food Agricultural Organisation doing
to tackle land grabbing and speculation of food commodities?
If you could maybe mention, I know I am aware that the Via Campesina
is trying to promote the role of the small farmers to tackle climate change.
Maybe you could comment a bit on this, the importance of food sovereignty?
There are actually four very different topics. I will begin by the first one
because it is the easiest one.
I know that we would like think that small holders are doing the best they can
with the resources they have and the knowledge they have and tradition,
they are very efficiently using the natural resources they have
but from a climate change perspective it is not the most efficient way of producing food very often.
And when I'm saying that we have to improve efficiency,
I do not mean industrialisation of agriculture.
But what I mean is that when you have a death rate of calves of 25% this is not efficient.
And so they need to have the turnover services, extension, food at the proper period etc..
There are ways of improving the efficiency of small farmers, that's one thing
and we need to improve their efficiency because as I've said in the beginning
60% of the undernourished people in the world are small holders and pastoralists.
The second one was about food sovereignty.
It is important, including for the reasons linked to trade,
that every country can produce the food it can produce
and put into effect the right to food which is a human right.
But especially considering climate change, more and more countries
will not be able to produce all they need because of the increase of population,
because of degradation of resources and because of climate change.
So it has to be taken into account, it is an important issue,
and countries must be helped to enhance their production but still trade will have a role to play.
The questions of land grabbing and of speculation are two different issues,
both of which are very complicated and can only be settled at an international level.
And these are two of the topics which have been selected by CFS
the Committee on World Food Security at its last meeting
for which it required the high level panel of experts on food security and nutrition
which has just been created to produce a study on each of these topics.
And these two topics are the topics on which the studies are right now
being written by the high level panel of experts
and to be delivered to CFS at its next meeting in October of this year,
which will enable the international community to discuss about a report
done by an independent authority on these very highly political and sensitive topics.
So there will be a discussion about it.
Thank you for your presentation, my name is John Horgan.
I'd just like to ask or make the point that to date
it seems that internationally most of the focus has been on carbon reduction targets
international, national and the subject of international agreements.
Given the complexity of the debate and the issues around climate change
should not there be equal or maybe even greater focus on international engagements on
technological and genomic/genetic developments such that the pressures that are currently
giving rise to carbon emission problems could be alleviated by
improvements and technological advances?
Targets that would be subject of international agreements
and requirement for investment to support them?
I don't see an alternative between fixing targets in term of reducing emissions
and targets in terms of finding the means to achieve these reductions.
Actually the two are very linked
and you are right
there is a need to enhance international co-operation
on research and development on the various technologies
which enable to reduce emissions, I wouldn't say easily,
but without too many food security or economic consequences.
There are two or three very encouraging initiatives on that.
In the Cancun Agreement there is also a renewed emphasis
on the need for exchanges of technologies with the creation of a technology committee
and so there is more focus on these needs than there was before probably,
both for adaptation and mitigation.
The second one is the Global Alliance for Research on Mitigation in Agriculture
which has been launched by New Zealand and to which Ireland is a partner
which is working on the various issues of how to reduce emissions in livestock production,
in rice production, in crop systems and how to enhance carbon stocks.
And there is also a big programme which is launched by the CGIAR which is
The Global Alliance of Research in Assistant and Agricultural Research.
There are initiatives which are launched and this is also why I pointed out
the need for renewed efforts in research and development in agriculture
if we want to make the changes that we want to make we need more research.
We need to come back to the levels where we were in the '80s or '70s.
So you are right, thank you.
Conor Scott is my name
As someone who would generally be against it ,
I was just wondering what your views are
on are there any possible uses for genetically modified organisms
in increasing food production
or is it something that is too dangerous or untried at the present time?
I will make the same answer than what I made for traditional varieties.
Considering the challenges we have to face
we have to envisage or look at every possible solution to improve genetic resources
including using traditional varieties, displacing traditional varieties from one area to another
and biotechnologies which are broader than GMOs
because you also have genetic markers
which is a way to have a quicker selection
without making any crosses but simply be quicker.
Then of course there is the issue
but in every country where GMOs are used
there are rules and regulations on the way they have to be used
and what has to be tested before.
I think considering the amplitude of the changes that are happening
of the challenges we have to face it is difficult to say
there are some techniques that are forbidden.
Thank you, Donal Whelan
Forester and Technical Director of the Irish Timber Growers Association.
Thank you for your presentation, you were saying there
that agriculture's responsible for approximately 29.5% of our emissions here in Ireland.
As probably most people are aware in the room
forestry actually captures carbon and is more than helpful in abating and adapting climate change.
In Ireland we only have 10% of our land area under forestry
however in Ireland we grow trees better than most other countries certainly in Western Europe
and even if you look at the Scandinavian countries which are
most of their land area would be covered in forestry we've a much higher growth rate
So we have great potential for forestry here and can I ask you
in relation to National Policies what sort of role would you see, potentially,
forestry playing in Ireland in the future to mitigate climate change?
Particularly with the potential we have for forestry here
and the very fast growth rates for our trees? Thank you.
So of course I would not interfere with any national policy
I'll take it from a bit more global.
As I've said there is a very big issue worldwide, regionally, nationally and locally
about what's the best use of land for various economic and environmental purposes.
In certain area - I've shown you the landscape of this Nile Basin area -
if I would have had some time I would have commented on the slopes
which are eroding and where it would be a very good thing to put forests there
because the fact that there is erosion is bad for water quality afterwards etc..
So there are areas where you have to put forests for various reasons.
Then there is the fact that forests are growing better on good soils and so is grass,
so there is a choice to make.
The other answer is when you take globally the whole of Europe,
there was a very good study released just before Copenhagen,
when you take both agriculture and forestry in the whole Europe,
the whole of it is at equilibrium which means that land use compensated for the emissions
of the agricultural sector, Europe-wide.
Finally it is a choice to be made
what is the more sensible from a sustainability point of view
to have grass systems, or grass systems at that very place, or forest?
And this is depending to local, national stakeholders to discuss.
Ok I'll take three more questions -yes.
Angelica Brady, Institute of Market Ecology Organic and Fairtrade, 34 years.
I am positively... I think you gave us a great overview of the technology
and knowledge that is already out there to produce more food
but you actually started this off by saying that the food price index
is at its highest historical level
and I would like to know what are the reasons
because the EU had the policy to make food cheaply available for everybody
and now we have the highest food price index
all over the world not just Europe and what are the reasons?
Is it worldwide transport? Is it speculation? Is it the high cost of inputs?
Is it corruption and cash crop and all that?
So I would like a breakdown or a reason for this high price of food thank you.
Ok, once again two different points.
What I have shown techniques or practices or systems which can be implemented
which are implemented in certain areas and which produce good results.
It doesn't mean that it is that easy to put them into place because you need to have
the proper knowledge of the farmers, you need extension services, you need institutions,
you need to help the farmer to change his practices
and all that is lacking in very many areas.
This is why I was saying at the end that I've shown things that work
because it is nice to know that things can work.
You cannot always say people are hungry, climate is changing, we're going to the wall,
it is nice to know that we can do something about it.
But there are things existing, now it is a question of politics, to upscale them
and to do what has to be done everywhere - that's with the first one.
And then the question of price, for food products it has always been like that
when you have too much food the prices decrease very quickly.
When you don't have enough, even slightly, the prices go very, very high
for one reason it's because you can only eat that much food
and you do need that much food.
So this is one general reason for food prices for centuries.
The other one as I've said and most of the price spikes that we've had this year
were due to climatic events which have reduced production in an area
and there is not enough stocks in the world to buffer it, this is one reason.
The other reason is that, as I've said,
international markets are not playing properly
their role of buffer, they are exaggerating things.
And speculation is also exaggerating it, and definitely you are right,
this is a very, very important issue, price volatility, which is also one of the reasons
why the G20 has asked all the UN Agencies to produce a report on it.
It's also the reason why the Committee on World Food Security has asked
a high level panel of experts to produce a report on it and proposing solutions.
Because definitely it's a huge issue and it will get more and more of an issue
because, for the reasons I've shown,
trade is going play a more and more important role as a buffer
because climate will be more and more variable.
So you'll have to use trade more and more to buffer these shocks.
And if you want trade to buffer these shocks you'll have to find ways to control prices
I should avoid the word control but to avoid price volatility as much as possible.
James Nix, Irish Environmental Network. Thanks very much for the presentation.
I was interested to see that certain intensive production systems
can result in lower emissions, I just had an initial query on that.
Does that take into account total CO2 impacts?
I mean with intensive systems you are obviously going to have
more transport to and from the feed lots and transport of the waste,
the agri-wastes, away as well.
The second question was on red meat or meat generally.
It would strike me that it would be a very cost effective
objective if the FAO was to have a policy of moderating meat consumption.
I take your point about certain African countries but I think you'd agree
there are a large swathe of countries where meat consumption
is in no way justified on nutritional grounds or, put it another way,
there is no nutritional deficiency in countries with skyrocketing meat consumption.
So I am just interested in what the FAO's view on cost benefit
and promotion of that policy is. Thanks.
Okay, I'll begin by the first one. Yes the comparison we make between systems
evaluating the intensity in terms of emissions per kilo
are done using lifecycle analysis methodology which takes everything into account,
all the various emissions and that's just parenthesis,
transport doesn't have such an incidence in global food systems' footprints.
There is not that much studies on the issue
but the studies which have been made show that transport is globally 10%
and in these 10%, 6% are the consumer taking his car to buy his food.
Because it takes the same energy to transport 5 kilos on 1 kilometre with a car
and on 3,800 kilometres in a boat.
So transport, it's easy to see but it's not the worst, methane is much more heavy.
Meat consumption is very different according to various regions.
But as I said answering another question it seems to be much more difficult
for public policies to act on consumption than on production.
This is why FAO making projections about the demand
has to take into account the fact that the demand is growing.
There has been some scenarios.
Agrément projections made by the French INRA has compared two scenarios,
one 'business as usual' with an increase of demand around roughly 88%
and another scenario with very high degrees of consumption of meat in developed countries.
But there is not a single mean to achieve that, this is why it's very difficult.
The consumption of livestock products in developed countries
hasn't changed in the 25 or 30 last years so there is nothing which can make me believe
that it's going to change.
In developing countries, it is increasing very, very quickly
it has doubled in the last 30 years which makes me believe that it will go on.
This is why we are projecting our figures like that
and once more it seems to be and this is a problem
this is a concern for every climate change policy
it seems to be very difficult to act on consumption.
But should not the FAO and the World Health Organisation be in one frame?
You've got two crises, if you look at the epidemiology of obesity on the one hand
which is at the heart of his question probably
and you've got this world shortage and climate change
surely we need to just get that issue debated?
And popularly, vulgarly debated in the media
and yet the media is dominated by advertising
which is very often for the products that are bringing the obesity into the frame
I know it's a big question for five past eight.
I am wondering if you haven't answered the question!!
There has been just before Copenhagen, two very good articles,
one in the Climate Change Review saying that struggling for climate change is good for health
and one in the Lancet the English Medical Journal saying that
working for health is good for climate change.
One of the reasons why I am saying that it is so difficult to act on consumption
is that for 20 years now these issues are debated and it doesn't change anything.
The point I'm making is that our role is for everyone to have the choice
of what he wants to eat.
He needs to have the information and in our country he has the information
and to have the possibility, what we call accessibility, which is the economic means
to buy the food he wants for cultural reasons,
so what I'm pointing at is that there is a very big difference between
people eating too much because they are too rich
and the food is so cheap here because the food is so cheap
and people not eating enough because they don't have money and they don't have the food.
They don't have the choice, we have the choice to eat less or to eat more healthily
or to eat organic or to eat more vegetable or to eat Fairtrade.
We have these choices, the only thing what we would like
is for everybody to have these choices all over the world.
And then of course you're right, there need to be the proper information
and a public debate about it.
By the way, thank you for this wonderful lecture very inspiring
and great answers to the questions.
My question, a lot if it has been answered already, but it's taking the big picture
to now until 2050 and beyond we look like we'll have 9 to 10 billion people on the planet by 2050.
We have 2 billion people undernourished possibly one billion starving at the moment.
We have huge problems of stress with climate change
we have all the issues concerning biodiversity loss in our land and in our oceans.
We have only a limited amount of resources on the planet with land etc.
we have the growing pressure of, if you like, energy crops stressing food crops.
We have the meat issue which we have just been talking about
but taking all of these issues, looking to 2050 and looking to beyond that,
civilisation on this planet, how are we going to face these challenges?
Are the solutions worked out at FAO level?
Is there if you like a strategy, a roadmap to where we're going?
So that we don't have huge problems of losses of populations or starvations
in the world with all of these pressures?
I mean it is a complex question but is there a roadmap?
Is there a solution?
Can you see beyond 2050 to the end of this century for example
in terms of civilisation on this planet sharing it with all of the other species on this planet?
Is there a clear pathway to the future?
Thank you very much for this question because one of the very difficult points is exactly that
it's what's going to happen after 2050?
I use this map the map in 2050 where you have regional impacts
leading to global changes in trade
at this stage you still have an increase in northern countries.
The question now is and it depends on us and what we do to mitigate climate change
is what's going to happen afterwards?
Because in the south globally into tropical areas crops are already at the limit
so one more degree and the yield decreases.
In some northern areas in Russia, Siberia there is still possibility
of accepting increases of temperatures
but what all the graphs of IPCC show, I haven't projected it,
is that above 3 or 4 degrees the yields are decreasing including in the north.
And certain projections think that
this decrease could happen in the United States already around 2050.
And when you know the role of the United States as an exporter of cereals
and when you think that there will be an increased demand in some areas
and when projections are saying that the exports are going to fall down
there could be some concern.
But this really depends on what is the scenario of climate change after 2050
and these scenarios they are not because we don't know what's going to happen with climate
it is because we don't know exactly what's going to happen with our emissions.
What I mean is that the four very known scenarios are:
our emissions are doing that and so we have this climate,
we reduce and so it's optimistic, we don't reduce and it's very pessimistic.
So you are right there is this long-term concern
and the other thing what I've shown you is globally the strategy of FAO concerning agriculture
which is we have to recognise that we have a limited amount of resources;
land, water and nutrients and energy we have to protect biodiversity, we have no choice
we cannot produce more if we don't use in a better way our natural resources.
And these natural resources are more and more threatened
including by climate change but not only
and so we have to use them very efficiently no choice and no doubt about it
and this is true until 2050 and it will be even more true afterwards.
So we have a limit of time as well.
The clock is moving, I've got a signal, I have to close because
I've a lot of questions still in the room I know
and congratulations on answering such big - so many of the questions
were big questions weren't they? They were big as the issue is big.
Just to conclude I was reminded when the question came in on forestry
about a comment that the late John Healy who was a journalist with the Irish Times
and he came from Leitrim
and Leitrim took offence some 30 years ago when a European wide
survey came out and more or less said that Leitrim
was so soggy and so damp that it was only good enough for trees.
And he said if only Europe had come out and said
'of all the place in Europe the greatest place for planting trees is Leitrim
the headlines would have been so different'
So it's the way we tell them.
I do think we've had a terrific lecture and answers and thank you so much
for joining us and for taking the questions
I told you there'd be a lot questions in the room and there were.
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Alexandre Meybeck. Food & Agriculture Organisation, U.N
Climate Change & Agriculture - Q&A