Ahead of World Food Day (16 October), Tearfund is calling on the UK government to find new money to help some of the poorest people in the world adapt to climate change.
In a new animation voiced by Tamsin Greig from radio’s farming soap opera The Archers, Christian relief and development agency Tearfund makes the connection between a changing global climate and rising food prices.
The animation is based on the real-life experiences of farmers in some of the world’s poorest communities. “When the weather is good, I have produce to sell. But this year the harvest wasn’t good because of the flash floods,” says Silas Ndayisaba, a farmer from Rwanda. “The weather is less predictable and the drought means that we have a lot less food.”
Tearfund works through local churches and partner organisations in some of the world’s most drought and flood affected communities to help them adapt and continue to grow food in erratic weather. But the tools and technologies that could help feed hungry people come at a price that churches, local governments and organisations cannot afford.
In 2009, a UN summit saw rich nations commit to finding 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to help poor countries adapt to climate change. At a time of global economic instability and already stretched aid budgets, governments now need to find new, innovative sources of this climate finance.Planes, trains and automobiles currently pay to help with the damage caused by carbon emissions, but the global shipping industry – responsible for 3% of global emissions – remains untaxed. Tearfund’s research shows that a levy on international shipping could raise around $25 billion, of which at least $10 billion a year could be committed to helping the most vulnerable communities to adapt to a changing climate.The short animated film’s call to action is for the UK public to join Tearfund’s campaign and ask Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, to champion a shipping levy that could help reduce food prices and help poor communities feed themselves.
“Climate change is making people hungry,” says Tearfund’s Head of Campaigns, Ben Niblett. “The UK church has an opportunity to speak up for justice, as the Bible tells us to, and tell our governments to stop stalling and do something for the millions of people who go to bed hungry each night all over the world.”
Visit www.tearfund.org/hunger to watch the film, take action and read Tearfund’s report Hope on the Horizon: Feeding the World in a Changing Climate.