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Achieving food security in the face of climate change

Final report from the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change

Business as usual in our globally interconnected food system will not bring us food security and environmental sustainability. Several converging threats – from climate change, population growth and unsustainable use of resources – are steadily intensifying pressure on humanity and world governments to transform the way food is produced, distributed and consumed. The transition to a global food system that satisfies human needs, reduces its carbon footprint, adapts to climate change and is in balance with planetary resources thus requires concrete and coordinated actions, implemented at scale, simultaneously and with urgency. Based on robust scientific evidence, the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change has identified critical leverage points and high-priority policy actions.

Executive Summary of the Report: Achieving food security in the face of climate change

The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change has reviewed the scientific evidence to identify a pathway to achieving food security in the context of climate change. Food systems must shift to better meet human needs and, in the long term, balance with planetary resources. This will demand major interventions, at local to global scales, to transform current patterns of food production, distribution and consumption. Investment, innovation, and deliberate effort to empower the world's most vulnerable populations will be required to construct a global food system that adapts to climate change and ensures food security while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and sustaining our natural resource base.

Key Recommendations:

  • Integrate food security and sustainable agriculture into global and national policies
  • Significantly raise the level of global investment in sustainable agriculture and food systems in the next decade
  • Sustainably intensify agricultural production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts of agriculture
  • Target populations and sectors that are most vulnerable to climate change and food insecurity
  • Reshape food access and consumption patterns to ensure basic nutritional needs are met and to foster healthy and sustainable eating habits worldwide
  • Reduce loss and waste in food systems, particularly from infrastructure, farming practices, processing, distribution and household habits
  • Create comprehensive, shared, integrated information systems that encompass human and ecological dimensions


The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change was established by the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriulture and Food Security (CCAFS [1]). The commission is supported by the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (GDPRD) to produce a clear and authoritative set of policy recommendations. The Commission brings together senior natural and social scientists working in agriculture, climate, food and nutrition, economics, and natural resources in governmental, academic and civil society institutions in Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, France, Kenya, India, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.