The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report this week recognises the risks of climate change to food production and human security, according to the National Sheep Association (NSA).
Its chief executive Phil Stocker said: “The panel has concluded that, globally, climate change is already having real effects with heatwaves, wildfires, heavy rain and mega-disasters.
“The warning signs about climate change have been accumulating over time but this is the first time the IPCC has drawn a clear line connecting climate change to food scarcity and conflict.
“Here in the UK we don’t need much reminding of the volatile weather we have experienced over recent years, most recently with devastating flooding and rainfall for most of the winter.
“This IPCC report means we have the evidence needed to ensure our hills and uplands maintain their capability to contribute to food security.
“This means keeping the people with the knowledge and experience in place and giving them the incentives to step up their productivity and play their part in optimising land use.
“Who knows what will happen over future decades and how extreme these changes in weather may be but it seems to me that if we lose some of the productivity of our lowlands due to flooding, and that drought becomes another serious limiting factor, then our uplands with their higher rainfall pattern will be crucial to us for food security.
“It doesn’t have to be either food production or the environment – we have to achieve the optimum balance of the two on all our land.”