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Climate change

What are the impacts of climate change, including society’s efforts to mitigate it and adapt to it, on the food system?

Climate change is relevant to the food system both in terms of changing food availability, food security and food safety risks, but also the role the food system could have in mitigating climate change. 
Net Zero Carbon is a UK carbon emissions target to mitigate climate change. However, sometimes the actions we take as a society to mitigate and adapt to climate change may have consequences for the food system which need to be understood.

The food we buy is driven by a complex interplay between consumer demand, retail marketing and farm production and all of these will see significant changes in practice and technology over the next decade to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to a changing environment. 

The way we grow, process and transport food is a major contributor to climate change with food production accounting for more than a quarter of all greenhouse emissions. Reducing emissions and addressing issues such as limited availability of water for agriculture in some regions, new pests and diseases and changing viability of crops will all require dramatic changes in agriculture, manufacturing and transport in order to reduce the impact of ongoing climate change.

This Area of Research Interest (ARI) will mainly focus on understanding the potential impacts on the UK of changing food availability, food security and food safety risks.
The FSA will use the research outputs of this ARI to:

  • identify emerging issues from activities to mitigate or adapt to climate change which will require risk assessment and management consideration
  • ensure the UK’s regulatory framework is effective in assessing and managing food safety and standards

This ARI is a new area of focus within the FSA and is currently undergoing further development. 

Research projects related to the programme

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