As reported to yesterday morning’s Green Café meeting, the Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) is hosting its biggest ever global online event for agroecological farmers, growers and food producers between 7-13 January in an urgent bid to fix our broken food system. ORFC Global 2021 brings together over four thousand delegates, including leading voices in agroecological, organic and regenerative agriculture. It aims to catalyse radical action in the face of multiple global threats including climate change, biodiversity loss, soil degradation, poverty and Covid-19.
Temperature data released by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) shows that the climate crisis continued unabated in 2020, with the joint highest global temperatures on record, alarming Arctic heat, record wildfires and record a record 29 tropical Atlantic storms. Despite a 7% global fall in carbon of 2.4bn tonnes reduced emissions from fossil fuels to about 34bn tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2020, due to coronavirus lockdowns, heat-trapping carbon dioxide continued to build up in the atmosphere, also setting a new record. The average surface temperature across the planet in 2020 was 1.25C higher than in the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900, dangerously close to the 1.5C target set by the world’s nations
In an interview to mark her 18th birthday on 3 January, Greta Thunberg the Swedish environmental campaigner named her ideal birthday present as a “promise from everyone that they will do everything they can” for the planet. However, when pressed on a more material gift, she went for replacement headlights for her bike, explaining that in Sweden it gets very dark in the winter.
Current Government plans add up to less than a quarter of the emissions cuts needed to achieve 2030 climate target, according to an end of year report by the independent think tank and charity Green Alliance. Despite the enormous challenge of battling a pandemic, the government made bold promises throughout 2020 to reduce emissions ahead of hosting next year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow. These included the ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, new plans for sustainable land management, ending the financing of fossil fuel projects abroad and the new target (nationally determined contribution) to reduce emissions by at least 68 per cent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. This puts the UK ahead of other countries in setting targets for carbon emissions reduction, including the EU which has committed to a 55 per cent reduction by 2030. These ambitions need equally bold policies and the funding to succeed the report states.