The annual Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), organized by The Energy and Resources Institute, provides an international platform for global leaders, Heads of States, policy makers, and academia to engage in dialogue on matters related to sustainable development and climate change.
Last week’s 13th annual DSDS focused on the theme “The Global Challenge of Resource Efficient Growth and Development,” and set forth a goal to advance the Rio+20 Conference resolutions outlined in “The Future We Want.” Sub-themes included adapting to climate change impacts and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, with one official side event being “International Conference on Agriculture and Climate Change.”
These sub-themes and side event made much progress in opening dialogue regarding climate change’s impact on agriculture and viable strategies to mitigate the effects. However, one significant element seemed to be left out of the discussion- agriculture’s impact on climate change.
With many developing nation governments promoting large-scale industrialization of animal agriculture, i.e. American style factory farms, this will lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprints, increased strain on both water and crop resources, and increased land and water pollution.* In order to fully confront “The Global Challenge of Resource Efficient Growth and Development,” both ends of the spectrum must be analyzed- climate change’s impact on agriculture, as well as agriculture’s impact on climate change.
Next year’s DSDS theme is set to be “Energy, Water, and Food Security for All.” Maybe 2014 will be the year that DSDS’s global leaders focus specifically on the topic of industrialized animal agriculture, give justice to the industry’s share of responsibility, and seek more sustainable means in which to secure food for the planet’s growing human population.
*To learn more about climate change and globalization of factory farming, see Brighter Green’s policy papers and video documentaries here.
Photo courtesy of friendsoffamilyfarmers.