Submission by sustainable population Australia on the treatment of agriculture in the UNFCCC

6 September 2013

Sustainable Population Australia welcomes the opportunity to submit perspectives on the treatment of Agriculture in the international climate change discourse.

We recommend that the UNFCCC acknowledge that the demands on agriculture, in any region, nation or globally, are proportional to the population to be supported, and that these demands constrain options for protection of environmental values and agricultural biodiversity and resilience. Consequently, climate adaptation for rural systems and communities should include reducing population growth rates with a view to stabilizing human numbers at the lowest achievable level.


A higher peak global population means:

    • more land must be converted to agriculture (releasing carbon);
    • more likely that soils will be degraded through intensive production (losing carbon);
    • less biodiversity of crops as only the most productive varieties can be grown;
    • consequently more brittle (vulnerable to change) agricultural systems lacking diversity and redundancy;
    • more likelihood of conflict and displacement of populations, disrupting agricultural production in affected areas;
    • more likelihood of high global food prices and abrupt spikes in food price in response to climate events, triggering civil unrest in urban communities.

For the full text including conclusions please download the Submission as a PDF (see attachment below)

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