Speaking at the inaugural session of the 5th Energy Finance Conference in Chennai, she says agricultural systems that use more external energy will not be able to deal with the changing patterns of food production due to climate adversities.

The issues of energy and climate change are individually complex but the prevailing reductionist ways of thinking about them is why real solutions have not been easy to approach, said Vandana Shiva, environmental activist and founder of Navdanya, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that promotes biodiversity conservation.

In a virtual address at the inaugural session of the 5th Energy Finance Conference organised by the Centre for Financial Accountability, in partnership with the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, and Climate Trends, Ms. Vandana stressed the interrelatedness of energy and food. Agricultural systems that use more external energy will not be able to deal with the changing patterns of food production due to climate adversities, she said.

“The very people who brought about the fossil fuel agriculture system, which is industrial agriculture driven by fossil fuel-based chemicals and pesticides, now want farmers out of farming because they are on to the next industrial revolution – digital agriculture, they call it. It is sadly being offered as a climate solution, but a system that uses more external energy, more fossil fuel energy, is not going to be a climate solution,” Ms. Vandana said, adding that such a system will generate more heat, emissions, and pollution.

The issues of energy and climate change are individually complex but the prevailing reductionist ways of thinking about them is why real solutions have not been easy to approach, said Vandana Shiva, environmental activist and founder of Navdanya, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that promotes biodiversity conservation.

In a virtual address at the inaugural session of the 5th Energy Finance Conference organised by the Centre for Financial Accountability, in partnership with the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, and Climate Trends, Ms. Vandana stressed the interrelatedness of energy and food. Agricultural systems that use more external energy will not be able to deal with the changing patterns of food production due to climate adversities, she said.

“The very people who brought about the fossil fuel agriculture system, which is industrial agriculture driven by fossil fuel-based chemicals and pesticides, now want farmers out of farming because they are on to the next industrial revolution – digital agriculture, they call it. It is sadly being offered as a climate solution, but a system that uses more external energy, more fossil fuel energy, is not going to be a climate solution,” Ms. Vandana said, adding that such a system will generate more heat, emissions, and pollution.

“We are being put on a totally anti-ecological, anti-science, anti-earth, and anti-people track so a handful of people can harvest more profits,” she said.

To address agrarian distress and unviability in farming in India, the first step is to bring in policy changes to stop subsidies to the fossil fuel system and support farmers for a period of five years, for them to transition to biodiverse agriculture and wean themselves off fertilisers, she added.

This article was originally published in The Hindu and can be read here.

Centre for Financial Accountability is now on Telegram and WhatsApp. Click here to join our Telegram channel and click here to join our WhatsApp channel and stay tuned to the latest updates and insights on the economy and finance.