Thursday, July 31, 2014

White House, big corporations partner to make agriculture more resilient to climate change

The White House announced a partnership Tuesday with several major companies "to better use data to make agriculture and the country's food system more resilient in responding to the growing impact of climate change," Christopher Doering reports for The Des Moines Register. "The initiative, part of the Obama administration's push to increase public backing for its climate-change agenda, would connect farmers, food distributors and agricultural businesses with data, tools, and information to understand how climate change is impacting their operations while identifying steps they can take to prepare for it."

The companies involved are Monsanto, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, PepsiCo, IBM and Amazon. Monsanto says "it will donate a maize breeding trial dataset to help public- and private-sector scientists better understand how climate and water-availability changes will impact crop productivity and food security" and PepsiCo is pledging "to install solar panels at a Gatorade plant in Arizona that would prevent the release of about 50,000 tons of carbon and other greenhouse gases over 25 years," Doering writes. The Obama administration will also host a series of workshops on data, food resilience, climate change and food emergencies.

"The climate change announcement comes the same day as the Obama administration warned that failing to fully reduce the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change could cost the U.S. economy $150 billion a year through lost agricultural production, flooding and other disasters like hurricanes," Doering writes. (Read more)

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