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Food expert urges local action on climate change

We must govern for the future and that means acting on climate, Dr. David Nabarro tells a Wednesday audience at the U of G
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World food issues expert Dr. David Nabarro speaks at the U of G Wednesday. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

A leading world food expert told a gathering of agri-food experts in Guelph Monday that as a society we must approach the issue of climate change with a local mindset.

"We govern for the future and the future means acting on climate," Dr. David Nabarro told a gathering of agri and food experts Wednesday morning who are attending the Agri Food Excellence Symposium.

Nabarro said that the older generation that is not focusing on the climate issue is "morally and perhaps in other ways responsible for ignoring, and perhaps even disregarding the future of young people.

"The climate issue is your issue. Personally, I believe that governments should be governing with the interests of future generations in mind, much more than focusing on present generations," he said at War Memorial Hall.

"I believe the votes of people under 25 should count twice, or three, or four times than the votes of people in my age," Nabarro said.

Nabarro said climate is far and away the most important and yet at the same time the most difficult issue that we as a human race are facing right now.

"It's something that is relatively slow in responding to what we do, it's got a trend to it that we don't fully understand, and it's a common problem for all of us that requires a collective solution," Nabarro said, "at the same time, requires changes that none of us really want to be making more than anyone else."

Nabarro is a leading world expert on food policy and insecurity and has spent much of his career working towards reducing global hunger.

Nabarro is currently a professor of Global Health at Imperial College London but spent many years with the World Health Organization and United Nations working on disease outbreak, hunger, and development issues.

He has also served as special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change. Most recently, he founded 4SD, a social enterprise focused on mentoring the next generation of sustainable development leaders.

One of the themes of Wednesday's speech was the interconnectedness of policy, economy, climate and environment is dealing with world food issues.

Governments, farmers, food companies, food processors, educators, all have to work together to tackle issues related to food insecurity, food shortage and food-related health issues.