Oil versus Food

Food scarcity and malnutrition, exacerbated by climate change, could result in a half a million extra deaths by 2050.

Research published in the medical journal The Lancet, in early March, indicates that fewer fruits and vegetables would be available due to climate change, and that will increase rates of heart disease, stroke and cancer. Three-quarters of the projected extra deaths will be in China and India.

Unless action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fruit and vegetables available to people in 2050 will shrink by 4 per cent, the calories available by 3 per cent, and the red and processed meat by 0.7 per cent.

The 500,000 figure by 2050 is a middle of the road scenario compared with a world without climate change, the study says.

Climate change has already been called the biggest global health crisis of our times because of floods, droughts and increased risk of infectious diseases.

Experts warn that changes to diet beyond 2050 could be even greater.