How much green house gases are emitted from growing tobacco and wine? Would it make a considerable difference if this land were used for growing food instead?
Creating a sustainable food future
The World Resources Institute has published a new report outlining solutions for feeding 10 billion people without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation or exacerbating poverty.
The solutions in the report are:
- Reduce growth in demand for food
- Reducing food loss and waste
- Limiting consumption of beef and lamb
- Avoiding biofuel production on agricultural land
- Achieving a voluntary reduction of fertility levels by promoting education, access to reproductive health services and reducing child mortality
- Produce more food on existing farmland
- Increase livestock and pasture productivity per hectare
- Improve crop breeding
- Improve soil and water management
- Plant existing cropland more frequently
- Adapt to climate change
- Protect natural ecosystems and limit agricultural land use change
- Use policy to link productivity gains to protecting natural ecosystems
- Prioritise the expansion of cropland, when it must happen, to areas with low biodiversity or carbon storage potential
- Reforest some agricultural land with low productivity
- Conserve and restore peatlands
- Increase fish supply
- Improve management of wild fisheries
- Make aquaculture more productive and less environmentally damaging
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
- Use technology to reduce enteric fermentation from ruminants
- Improve manure management
- Reduce nitrous oxide emissions from manure left on pasture
- Increase nitrogen use efficiency
- Manage rice production for lower emissions
- Use energy more efficiently on farms and use non-fossil sources
- Sequester carbon in soils using realistic options
Read the full report, Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050, here and read the WRI’s blog post here. For more on carbon sequestration in grazing systems, see our report Grazed and Confused? See also the Foodsource resource What is sustainable intensification?
While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.