31 May 2011:
Staple Food Prices Could
More than Double by 2030, Oxfam Says
The prices of staple foods, which have already reached record levels in 2011, could more than double over the next two decades
, a new Oxfam report says. According to the report, "Growing a Better Future", a combination of factors — including climate change, diminished natural resources worldwide, population growth, and an increased use of crops for biofuels — could trigger a new era of permanent food crisis. The cost of key grains such as maize could rise 180 percent by 2030, with more than half of that increase the result of climate change. “This will prove disastrous for food importing poor countries, and raises the prospect of a wholesale reversal in human development,” the report says. The effects will be felt most severely by the poor, who already spend as much as 80 percent of their income on food, the report notes. Volatile food prices have pushed an estimated 44 million people into poverty in the last year, Oxfam says. The international charity called on world leaders to build a new global governance that better regulates commodities markets to contain price volatility, an increase in global food reserves, and an end to subsidies for biofuel crops.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.