Separated at Birth? Addressing the Twin Global Crises of Biodiversity and Climate Change
77 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 12, 2015
Climate change is a growing threat to biodiversity, particularly in hotspots such as tropical forests and coral reefs. At the same time, deforestation is a major source of carbon emissions. The REDD effort is an attempt to make positive use of this connection. But negative impacts are also possible, such as the destruction of tropical forests as an indirect result of U.S. corn ethanol production. More generally, biodiversity and climate change both raise issues about the legality and effectiveness of bottom-up actions in the absence of global agreement.
Finally, climate change and biodiversity threats both have links to the global food system. Sustainable aquaculture can reduce pressures on wild fish stocks. Conversion to agricultural use is a major threat to wild lands that store large amounts of carbon and harbor immense biodiversity. Increased crop yields, dietary changes, and population control can reduce those pressures, with both biodiversity and climate benefits.
Keywords: Biodiversity, climate change, food law, agricultural policy, indirect land use change, environment trade conflicts
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