Thierry Kesteloot / Policy advisor

Oxfam-Solidarité / Food and Agriculture

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

Climate change is forcing us to fundamentally rethink our food systems. Climate change is one of the main reasons for the alarming reality of increasing hunger in all regions of the world. This is despite the international commitment to end it by 2030. Diversified agro-ecological food systems can cool the planet and feed the world, but the increasing concentration of power and the defence of the particular interests of the main actors in today’s food systems are blocking the necessary changes.
Food is also a fabulous lever for imagining, practicing and mobilizing change on a daily basis. The many initiatives to change the way we eat inspire and connect people. I have the privilege of being able to explore, taste, savour – sometimes prepare – this diversity of flavours, smells, colours of world cuisine at home with my family. I also experience, very modestly and more comfortably than so many farmers, the challenges of climate change with my two hives and the production of a handful of vegetables. This helps to understand, rethink and try to practice “acting locally, thinking globally”. Beyond food, links are easily made with mobility, housing, recycling, exchanging, voting, expressing solidarity. I am passionate about living in a time when we all need to reinvent another world that preserves and cares for our only planet. I am confident and I thank my children and all the young people on the street who are chanting and singing for change now.
Sitting at my desk all day, I am frustrated by the inaction of so many citizens, friends, politicians. Those who try to solve problems using the same kind of thoughts we used when we created them. Climate change cannot be solved with the model of economic growth that exploits the resources of others. It is not by defending “our way of life” that we will achieve a just transition, ensuring a just and safe planet for all. Our governance is not ready to accept the need for a radical change towards a just and sustainable transition. This radical change will not come from compromises expressing the lowest common denominator of our decision-makers. It requires a change in governance. The best way to develop this new “contract with our planet” is to engage in a real dialogue in the first place with all those who are and will be affected by climate change to find sustainable solutions.

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