Climate change is already hitting farmers hard. And left unchecked, it will devastate our ability to grow.
Rising temperatures will cause crop yields to fall – possibly to half of their current levels in some African countries. And changes in seasons will make it even harder for farmers to know when to sow, cultivate and harvest.
Globally, the “Big 10” food and beverage companies are both highly vulnerable to climate change and major contributors to the problem. Together they emit so much greenhouse gas that, if they were a single country, they would be the 25th most polluting in the world.
Although women farmers in poor countries contribute little to greenhouse gas emissions, they already being hardest hit by climate change.
Heat waves, droughts and floods make it even harder for women to grow enough food to eat and earn a living. Climate change affects the forests and fisheries they rely on, the crops they can grow and the water they can count on to irrigate their land. As temperatures rise and rainfall patterns change, women will have to spend more time farming even as they produce less food.
Food and Climate Justice
And farming isn't only affected by climate change – it causes it too. Agriculture is responsible for around almost a third of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change is deepening the food crisis for women and their families. Women are the majority of the world's small-scale farmers and produce most of the world's food. But climate change has made the risky business of farming all the more difficult. More frequent crop failures mean women work harder and families eat less.
The way to GROW
Governments and global corporations have dragged their feet for too long.
We need a fair global agreement that will keep global warming below 2 degrees and avoid catastrophic climate change. Nothing else is good enough.
And it's time to recognize and value rural women’s capacity for climate change adaptation. This means ensuring that women are at the table when decisions about climate change are made – from the community level to international Adaptation funds.
For our world to grow together, it's time to get climate change under control.
Read the GROW Fact Sheet:
Read Oxfam's Reports:
- Standing on the sidelines: Why food and beverage companies must do more to tackle climate change - May 2014
- Hot and hungry: How to stop climate change derailing the fight against hunger - March 2014
- Adaptation and the $100 billion Commitment - November 2013
- Growing Disruption: Climate change, food, and the fight against hunger - September 2013
- Gender and the Green Climate Fund - July 2011
- Out of the Bunker - Time for a Fair Deal on Shipping Emissions - September 2011
- Out of the Bunker - Two page backgrounder
- Governing Climate Funds: What Will Work For Women? September 2011
- Climate change and women farmers in Burkina Faso: Impact and adaptation policies and practices – August 2011
- Climate change: Beyond coping. Women smallholder farmers in Tajikistan – June 2011