Climate change will have a huge impact on the world?s poorest people. Crop yields have already gone down in the tropics and are projected to drop by 15-30% by 2080 in Africa, South Asia, and Central America (Hoffman 2013). Some countries could reach a 50% loss of agricultural productivity; in fact, in some regions, agriculture will likely become impossible (Hoffman 2013). The poorest and most food-insecure countries face the worst impacts of climate change to their farming systems (Oxfam 2009). Oxfam International?s Suffering the Science reports that 26 million people are already displaced from their homes due to climate change, and the World Health Organization estimates 150,000 lives are being lost every year due to climate change (Oxfam 2009).
Climate change is happening because too much carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere, due to burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and degradation of farmland. To make our climate stable again, we must drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, while also drawing down the excess carbon in the atmosphere and safely storing it. Many agricultural practices can do this. In fact, if these techniques were widely used, they could remove and store enough carbon to return the atmosphere to 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide, which is the amount scientists think is safe (Lal 2014). However, such techniques will only be successful if emissions are also dramatically reduced.