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Climate change a dire threat to food security as floods swamp Britain, campaigners warn

CAMPAIGNERS and unions warned today that climate change is one of the direst threats to domestic food security as floods swamp Britain’s farmland.

The Met Office reported that Britain has experienced record-breaking rainfall, totalling 1,695.9mm in the last 18 months, marking the highest amount since records began in 1836.

Huge swathes of farmland were affected by Storm Henk in January, leaving acres under water.

Pete Knapp from Scientists for Extinction Rebellion said rain and droughts were caused by the “relentless” burning of fossil fuels. 

He said that farmers are not only struggling to cope because of this, but also because pesticide use has killed the insects and worms that create tunnels and air pockets that make the soil able to soak up the rain like a sponge. 

“Our soil is now more like concrete, so the increase in rain floods fields more. Then it just runs off into the rivers and we later get droughts. 

“We need to use less energy, burn less gas, oil, and coal, and farmers need more support to grow food without killing nature.”

The campaigner claimed a plant-based diet would make this easier as less land is used.

Currently 40 per cent of cereal crops feed animals for meat and dairy, according to WWF.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) warned that such weather will undermine food production.

The government announced that a Farming Recovery Fund will give grants of between £500 to £25,000 following Storm Henk, but they are only available to those impacted by an “eligible” river.

Speaking to the BBC, NFU vice-president Rachel Hallos warned of “substantially reduced output” and “potential hits” to the quality of crops due to the heavy rain. 

Britain’s farmers are “on the front line of climate change — one of the biggest threats to UK food security,” she said.

She added that extreme weather “could soon become the norm,” and urged the government to come up with a proper plan to “prepare, adapt and recover from our changing climate.”

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said Britain is “on course for food riots and famine”,  with politicians failing to  “transition our economy to a sustainable system”.

“We need a revolution of democracy with ordinary people put at the heart of decision making”, they added.


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