Showing results for: Carbon footprint
This open access article from Chalmers University, Sweden, argues that unless we reduce our consumption of meat and dairy, world temperatures will continue to rise and we will be unable to meet the goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2˚C.
This very interesting paper essentially argues that policies designed to incentivise production efficiencies achieve greater GHG reductions than those focusing on consumption. Moreover they do so at lower calorie ‘cost’ than consumption side measures. The abstract is given below, but we’ve produced some further explanation of the paper’s approach and findings, together with some comments in Our summary and commentary (which you can also download as a PDF below) draws upon some very helpful insights from Professor Pete Smith at the University of Aberdeen and includes some useful commentary from Dr Marco Springmann at the University of Oxford – thanks to both.
Climate policy progress assessment concludes that many countries are advancing to cut emissions at a similar rate as the UK. A report by the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE international) argues that only a "handful of countries" have not yet engaged with climate change as a policy problem or fail to see it as a legislative priority. Analysing the climate legislation of 66 countries (together accounting for 88 percent of greenhouse gas emissions) it finds that 62 of them have a 'flagship law'. And contrary to commonly held perceptions, it is not just rich countries that are introducing laws to tackle emissions. Countries including Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Kenya are also taking firm legal measures.
The Nordic countries collaborate in setting guidelines for dietary composition and recommended intakes of nutrients. Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012 is their 5th and latest publication. The recommendations emphasize food patterns and nutrient intakes that, in combination with sufficient and varied physical activity, are optimal for development and function of the body and that contribute to a reduced risk of certain diet-associated diseases.
In this podcast video from The Centre for International Governance Innovation – CIGI, David Keith, Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, discusses the controversy, risks and potential benefits of climate geoengineering. Keith offers a background on solar geoengineering before addressing common criticisms. He notes that while solar geoengineering doesn't fit into current preconceptions about how we manage climate change, a moderate solar geoengineering solution could be a powerful tool in slowing the effects of climate change while dramatic emission reductions can continue. Tune in for the full discussion to learn more about this fascinating topic.
In collaboration with agricultural and environmental experts, E-CO2, McDonalds is launching a practical tool that aims to demonstrate to farmers what measures that can be taken to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their business efficiency.
This app is a greenhouse gas calculator for farming. It is aimed at companies who can use it to collate and manage supply chain emissions and for farmers for use as decision support.
A group of multinational agri-food businesses are launching a web version of the Cool Farm Tool carbon calculator this week. The launch coincides with a call for more businesses to join the newly-formed Cool Farm Institute. The tool can be accessed via the Institute’s website. More details of the launch can be accessed here.
This study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has an interesting approach to capturing changes in diets by country. It uses an ecological metric – trophic levels – to calculate different dietary patterns across different countries and to examine how these patterns - and their trophic levels – have changed over time (1961-2009).
This review article, Population, development, and climate change: links and effects on human health, discusses the results from a University College London & Leverhulme Trust Population Footprints Symposium on the linkages between population, development, climate change and health. The review, published in The Lancet, shows that while population growth is an important factor, consumers rather than people per se, drive climate change, and therefore reducing consumption represents the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions. It says that family planning (when implemented with other social and economic improvements) is one of the most effective ways of managing increases in population growth and of delivering extensive health benefits in both high and low-income countries. However when it comes to addressing climate change, demographic trends with respect to ageing, urbanisation and consumption are more significant than total population numbers. The authors conclude that reducing consumption and creating sustainable lifestyles in rich countries represent the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions and ultimately delivering health benefits.
This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion on sustainable intensiﬁcation in agriculture, focusing on the question of whether further yield increases are still possible. The researchers looked at trends in productivity increases achieved through the introduction of new varieties in the Netherlands between 1980 and 2010. A statistical technique allowed them to separate the influence of weather, CO2 levels and crop management from the effect of the new varieties themselves.
Taking as its starting point the mounting evidence pointing to the need for consumption changes aimed at achieving healthier and more sustainable diets, this research highlights the process of constructing an ecological foodprint tool (www.voedingscentrum.nl). It seeks to contribute to greater understanding of the role that social networks and social media can play in informing dietary choices. The foodprint tool has the following features: 1) its focuses on food only; 2) it is designed to encourage interaction by the users; and 3) it incorporates recommendations for achieving a healthy diet with a lower foodprint.
This paper explores how far changes in consumers’ diets can lead to reductions in food related GHG emissions. While previous studies have looked at the relative mitigation impact of switching to vegetarian and vegan diets, this paper estimates the contribution that the average UK diet makes to GHG emissions. It does so by combining the GHG emissions from 66 different food categories with self-reported dietary information. The average GHG impact that the authors arrive at is 8.8 kg CO2 eq per person – including both food eaten and the embedded emissions in food wasted (post-purchase).
A new centre has been set up in the UK, which aims to reduce the energy used across food production, taking a whole system approach. The RCUK Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains (CSEF) will examine where and how to make savings in food production: its research outputs are intended to support energy efficiency policy and contribute to cutting carbon use and GHG emissions. One of its primary research themes is the simulation of energy and resource flows in the food chain, from manufacture and transport of food through to the energetic requirements of refrigeration in supermarkets.