Agriculture must not get “a free pass” in climate change debate, argues renowned US economist Jeremy Rifkin
Jeremy Rifkin, Founder & President of the Foundation on Economic Trends, talks with journalist Rose O’Donovan (AGRA FACTS) about the shift towards the ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ and the need to develop a more sustainable and ecologically-based agricultural production system.
“Climate change is the elephant in the room and is the most important crisis we have to face” Rifkin states, underlining that “agriculture is responsible for one-third of all global warming emissions”. He floats the concept of the ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ – whereby farmers better use technology to balance agricultural production output with their environmental footprint.
Rifkin slams the use of chemicals in farming and advocates financial incentives to encourage farmers to move into organic and ecological agriculture. Farmers must also be encouraged to produce energy on their farms for bio-converters, solar panels and wind turbines. To conclude, the best-selling author warns that our diets should be completely overhauled as “almost half of our food production is destined for animal feed” – one of the fundamental tenets in the food versus fuel debate.