As one of the world’s leading agri-businesses, we are already seeing that changing weather patterns are affecting crops and therefore communities. We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing resilience to climate-related risks for our own operations, and for those of our suppliers.
In this section we cover:
- Why climate change is material to our business
- How we are contributing to the 2°C Target
- Progress on Olam’s Climate Change goals
- Q&A with Chris Brown, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability:
- Olam is calling for a carbon tax. Based on Olam’s 2015 carbon footprint, what would be the potential tax impact?
- How can you tell whether an impact is related to climate change versus cyclical weather occurrences such as El Niño? And are all impacts negative?
- Aren’t all of the mitigation measures too little too late?
- What are the specific focus areas for 2016?
Computer models of the climate used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that changes will continue under a range of possible greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenarios over the 21st century. If emissions continue to rise at the current rate, impacts by the end of this century are projected to include both a global average temperature of 2.6–4.8 degrees Celsius (°C) and sea levels 0.45–0.82 metres higher than present.
If the issues are not addressed, climate change will impact crop production, putting global food security at risk and preventing “the ending of poverty in all its forms everywhere” as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is why the outcomes from the COP21 in Paris during December 2015 are significant – see opposite.
We expect farmers in emerging economies to be the first to feel the impacts of climate change because of vulnerable geographies and their lower ability to cope with damage from severe weather – given we source from 4 million smallholders across Africa, Asia and South America this is a particular risk. Poverty is a key barrier which we need to address in order to improve farmers’ ability to manage, mitigate and, where necessary, adapt to the impacts.
We also have a responsibility to help reduce the temperature rise.
As stated by the IPCC in its Fifth Assessment Report, emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sectors contribute about 24% of GHG emissions. These emissions come mainly from deforestation as farmers seek more land to increase production and agricultural emissions from livestock, soil and nutrient management. Moving to sustainable agricultural practices will play a significant role in limiting global warming to no more than 2°C.
Next Section: How we are contributing to the 2°C Target