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Articles by Robin McKie

Robin McKie is science and technology editor for the Observer.

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This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Attempts to solve the climate crisis by cutting carbon emissions from only cars, factories, and power plants are doomed to failure, scientists will warn this week.

A leaked draft of a report on climate change and land use, which is now being debated in Geneva by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, states that it will be impossible to keep global temperatures at safe levels unless there is also a transformation in the way the world produces food and manages land.

Humans now exploit 72 percent of the planet’s ice-free surface to feed, clothe, and support Earth’s growing population, the report warns. At the same time, agriculture, forestry, and other land use produces almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, about half of all emissions of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, come from cattle and rice fields, while deforestation and the removal of peat lands cause further significant levels of carbon emissions. The impact of intensive agriculture — which has helped the world’s population soar from ... Read more

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