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Press Release: Giorgio Parisi Joins FAO’s Nobel Laureates Alliance

The climate crisis in focus as Giorgio Parisi joins FAO’s Nobel Laureates Alliance
The 2021 physics prize winner delivers a lecture on “Science: the headlight on our future”

21 January 2022, Rome – The climate crisis is posing a growing threat to our food security.
Today, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) welcomed Physics
Nobel Laureate Giorgio Parisi to join its Nobel Laureates Alliance for Food Security and Peace,
an advocacy group that aims to amplify FAO’s work in tackling global hunger.

Parisi is an expert on complex systems that are difficult to model, such as flocking starlings, the
stock market and the weather. A native of Rome, Italy, Parisi was awarded the Nobel prize in
2021 for “the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from
atomic to planetary scales.” He shared the prize with Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann,
two leading meteorologists.

Global hunger has been on the rise since 2014, mainly due to economic downturns, armed
conflicts and other humanitarian crisis, as well as the climate crisis. The latter is playing an
increasingly crucial role in undermining livelihoods and will be a major driving force for future
food insecurity.

“Professor Parisi’s work contributes significantly to our understanding of the climate crisis, and
in alerting us to the consequences of human behaviour and the inefficient use of natural
resources,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said at a virtual ceremony in Rome.

Parisi delivered a lecture entitled “Science: the headlight on our future,” in which he argued
that while science may have the tools to address many of the world’s problems, what is needed
is greater political will and guidance, especially on the part of the richer countries.

“It’s like driving in the night: Science is the headlights, but the responsibility not to go off the
road lies with the driver,” Parisi said.

The ceremony also saw interventions from Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who
congratulated Parisi for his Nobel award and highlighted the link between the climate crisis and
food security, and 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus, a co-founder of the Alliance,
who called on participants not to let the COVID-19 pandemic distract from the threat posed by
climate change.

 

Nobel Alliance
FAO established its Nobel Laureates Alliance for Food Security and Peace in 2016 to raise
awareness and champion global and country-level activities, promoting the links between food
security and peace.

One example of its concrete achievements comes from the Central African Republic where,
together with the Italian government and two founding members of the Alliance – Yunus and
2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakkol Karman – FAO is working on a reconciliation and
development programme that helps to increase local food production while simultaneously
promoting dialogue between the parties involved in the ongoing conflict.

The Alliance aims to build on lessons learned in the Central African Republic in other countries
facing food security and nutrition challenges resulting from armed conflict or post-conflict
situations.

To build and sustain peace, the Alliance advocates the importance of increasing investment in
food security, agriculture, livelihoods, and resilience-building while ensuring conditions for
participation and dialogue.

FAO considers the climate crisis a top-line corporate priority and is actively working to enhance
the institutional and technical capacities of its Members and improve the integration of food
security, agriculture, forestry and fisheries within the international climate agenda.

For more information contact:
Nicholas Rigillo
FAO News and Media (Rome)
Nicholas.Rigillo@fao.org

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