New BSR, Cambridge Report Outlines Climate Risks for Agriculture Sector

New BSR, Cambridge Report Outlines Climate Risks for Agriculture Sector

13-Part Series Translates IPCC Fifth Assessment for Business
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 8:00am

CAMPAIGN: Business in a Climate-Compatible World

CONTENT: Press Release

San Francisco, CA, June 11, 2014 /3BL Media/ - summary report published jointly by BSR and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Judge Business School, with support from the European Climate Foundation, distills the key findings from the recently released Intergovernmental Panel (IPCC) on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report for the agriculture sector.

The report, one in a 13-part series that translates the IPCC assessments for business leaders, reveals that climate-related impacts are already reducing crop yields in some parts of the world—a trend that is projected to continue as temperatures rise further.

“This report, released as part of BSR’s Business in a Climate-Constrained World initiative, provides ambitious, actionable steps the agriculture industry can adopt today to begin reducing its climate impacts and to build resilience for the sector,” said Edward Cameron, the report’s lead author and BSR’s Director, Partnership Development and Research.

Findings from the report include:

  • Climate-related impacts are already reducing crop yields in some parts of the world, a trend that is projected to continue as temperatures rise.
  • Farmers can adapt to some changes, but there is a limit to what can be managed. The agricultural industry’s own interests are best served by ambitious approaches to adaptation and to cutting emissions.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from agriculture comprised about 10 to 12 percent of manmade GHG emissions in 2010.
  • Opportunities for mitigation include reducing emissions from land-use change, land management, and livestock management.
  • The potential for reducing GHG emissions through changes in consumption could be substantially higher than technical mitigation options.

The report also notes specific ways climate change will affect the agriculture industry—including on food security, crop yields, developing countries, water security, price volatility, food quality, pests and disease, livestock, labor, and the supply chain—and it offers supply- and demand-side opportunities for managing risk and building resilience to climate change.

“This publication clearly highlights the stress that climate change will place on supply chains and food security,” said Stuart Lendrum, Head of Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing, Sainsbury’s. “As a retailer, we play a critical role in working in partnership with our suppliers, supporting them to reduce their emissions and increase their resilience to those impacts already built into the system.”

Download the report, “Climate Change: Implications for Agriculture, Key Findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” at

About the Series
This report is one of a series of 13, based on the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). AR5 represents the most comprehensive overview of climate science to date and is the fact base that will used by governments and businesses to formulate climate policy in the coming years. The set of summaries cover the broad implications of climate change, how the IPCCC works, and gives an overview of the physical science, as well as adaptation and mitigation options. The specific summaries cover the energy sector, investors and financial institutions, the transport sector, the tourism industry, the agricultural sector, fisheries and aquaculture, the defense sector, primary industries, cities, buildings, and employment. The full set of summaries will be posted at


About BSR
BSR is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consultingresearch, and cross-sector collaboration. Visit for more information about BSR’s more than 20 years of leadership in sustainability.


About the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)
CISL brings together business, government, and academia to find solutions to critical sustainability challenges. Through our educational programmes, business platforms, and strategic engagement initiatives, we deepen leaders’ understanding of the context in which they operate and help them to respond in ways that benefit their organisations and society as a whole. Visit for more information.


About Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS)
CJBS is in the business of transformation. Many of our academics are leaders in their field, creating new insight and applying the latest thinking to real-world issues. Visit for more information.


About the European Climate Foundation (ECF)
ECF was established in 2008 as a major philanthropic initiative to promote climate and energy policies that greatly reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and to help Europe play an even stronger international leadership role to mitigate climate change. Visit for more information.


Eva Dienel
+1 (415) 984-3233
Associate Director, Communications, BSR
Nicolette Bartlett
+44 1223 768840
University of Cambridge