Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Carbon footprint

12 November 2012

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has released a report entitled the Low Carbon Economy Index, which analyses the amount of carbon emitted per unit of GDP. It concludes that for a 50 % chance of limiting temperature rise to 2˚C, carbon intensity needs to fall by more than 5 % per year every year until 2050. 

2 November 2012

A paper in Nature Climate Change finds that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures cause rice agriculture to release more of the potent greenhouse gas methane (CH4) for each kilogram of rice it produces.

2 November 2012

Dr. Jasper Knight, Wits University (South Africa), and Dr. Stephan Harrison, University of Exeter (UK) argue that governments and institutions should focus on developing adaptation policies to address and mitigate the impact of global warming, rather than putting emphasis on carbon cap-and-trade schemes. Their arguments are presented in a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change entitled “The impact of climate change on terrestrial Earth surface systems.”

2 November 2012

The Carbon Disclosure Project also released its Global Water Report, entitled Collective responses to rising water challenges. The intention of this report is to serve as a “call to action for companies to treat water with the strategic importance it deserves; to consider the role they should play in tackling water challenges and to provide the leadership required to build a more resilient future.” Despite increased awareness and activity among some respondents, the Global 500 response rate remained static at 60% (191 companies).

14 October 2012

Australia managed to pass a national carbon pricing scheme into legislation, which came into effect in July of this year. The “Clean Energy Plan” involves a temporary CO2-equivalent tax for three years, followed by an emissions trading scheme aimed at producing strong growth and low pollution.

21 May 2012

FCRN mailing list member Anna Flysjö has successfully defended her thesis.  The thesis takes the form of a summary overview section and 6 papers (5 of them published journal papers). Details as follows:

The PhD project has focused on some of the most critical methodological aspects influencing GHG emission estimates of milk and dairy products and how the methodology can be improved. In addition, the CF for different types of dairy products has been analysed. Based on these results, mitigation options have been identified along the entire dairy value chain.

9 May 2012

Mexico is the second country in the world to have to have instituted legally binding targets on GHG emission reductions.  The law mandates a reduction in CO2 emissions by 30% below business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 50% below 2000 levels by 2050 (note that this is a relative target – the UK’s target is an absolute one)

25 April 2012

The International Trade Centre (ITC) has published a new technical paper on Product Carbon Footprinting Standards in the Agri-Food Sector. The paper aims to guide exporters of agricultural products through the process of product carbon footprinting (PCF) so as to make it easier for them to understand the processes involved, improve their environmental performance and ultimately to reduce the costs for their business.

25 April 2012

FCRN member Chris Foster has recently co-authored this paper, which argues that a focus on ‘greening’ individual products without changing the wider socio-economic context within which products are produced, marketed and consumed is likely to achieve very little.

13 April 2012

The goals of this study were to: (a) develop a robust, model-based life-cycle GHG emissions comparison of organic and conventional farming methods for a relatively large selection of crop products;

13 April 2012

This interesting study, commissioned by Unilever presents the range of GWP (global warming potential) values for 27 crops grown worldwide, looking both at the variability of values for the same crop across countries as well as differences between crops. 

9 March 2012

The Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum has published a study on Scottish produced suspended mussels and intertidal oysters.

The study considered the cradle-to-gate impacts of the shellfish, from spat collection in the case of mussels, and hatching in the case of oysters, through  growing, harvesting, depuration, and packing ready for dispatch.  To illustrate the carbon impacts of the full life cycle, a scenario is included that,  based on various assumptions, illustrates the potential impacts of distribution, retail, consumption and disposal of the shells. 

29 February 2012

The UK dairy sector has published its first report which looks at the carbon footprints of a selection of British dairy farms with a view to establishing a baseline against which progress can be measured.   The study reveals very substantial differences in the GHG footprints expressed as CO2 eq/kg fat corrected milk, of different farms, and also finds that there is more variation between farms, than between production systems.  It also concludes that there is no one variable (eg milk yield, fertiliser use or energy consumption) that accounts for most of the variation between farms.

17 February 2012

This paper looks at the GHG, energy and biodiversity implications of different types of farming systems, taking into account alternative possible uses, and environmental implications of those uses, for any land freed by more intensive production practices (the opportunity cost). 

17 February 2012

In the FCRN newsletter of 9 February 2012 we reported on Tesco’s announcement, as covered by the Guardian and others, that it would no longer be putting carbon labels on its products.  However, since then Tesco has published a letter in the Grocer, clarifying its position.

9 February 2012

This paper, by FCRN mailing list member Mike Berners-Lee and others, examines the GHG implications of different dietary choices.

24 January 2012

This report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation asks whether changes towards ‘greener’ forms of consumption are compatible with preserving a minimum acceptable standard of living. 

6 December 2011

The UK Government’s Carbon Plan was published in December 2011. It sets out how government’s proposals and policies for meeting the first four carbon budgets - legally binding limits on the amount of emissions that may be produced in successive five-year periods, beginning in 2008.

17 January 2011

The Food Climate Research Network and WWF-UK have published a new report – How Low Can We Go? An assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from the UK food system and the scope for reduction by 2050 – that quantifies the UK’s food carbon footprint - taking into account emissions from land use change - and explores a range of scenarios for achieving a 70% cut in food related greenhouse gas emissions.

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