Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: GHG emission trends

18 October 2016

This report by Zero Carbon Australia, outlines how research on greenhouse gas emissions from land use (agriculture and forestry) can be reduced to zero net emissions, coupled with economic opportunities and increased resilience in the face of climate change. The land use sector is the second largest source of emissions in Australia and is highly exposed to the impacts of climate change. 15% of total emissions in Australia are from the agriculture and forestry sectors, the largest component of which is land clearing for grazing.

Credit: Dan zen, Golden soy, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence 2.0
11 October 2016

This paper by researchers in the US and Australia reports the findings of a long-term field-trial-based investigation into the effect of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations (CO2) on soy yield and drought tolerance. Their findings challenge the widely-held belief that crop yield will be increased by elevated CO2 (the so-called CO2 fertilisation effect) both because of increased photosynthetic rate, and because of lower susceptibility to drought: it has long been assumed that in higher CO2 conditions, stomatal conductance will be lower, leading to slower water loss from the leaves, slower water uptake from the roots, and consequently more moisture remaining in the soil for longer, thereby sustaining crops in limited rainfall.

Credit: Eric Huybrechts, Campi, fields - Le Marche, Italy, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence 2.0
4 October 2016

This study compares real world observations of the age of carbon in soils, to soil carbon’s age as represented in earth system models that are used to make climate change projections. It then explores the implications of the results, by modelling expected future levels of carbon storage in global soils, occurring in response to increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. To illustrate the difference, modelled increases in soil carbon storage are contrasted both before and after updating earth systems models to reflect these real-world observations.

Photo: Taz, Food waste. Peering into a dumpster at the GI Market, Flickr, Creative Commons licence 2.0
28 September 2016

As the global population grows and food consumption patterns shift towards more resource intensive foods, food loss and waste (FLW) is becoming a topic of increasing importance due to its impact on future food availability and - via the greenhouse gas emissions embodied in its production - on climate change.

Image: Woodleywonderworks, Flickr, Creative commons licence 2.0
20 September 2016

Globally, agricultural production and land use change (of which some 90% is driven by agriculture) are responsible for approximately a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

28 June 2016

The new global Food Losses and Waste FLW standard for measuring food loss and waste is the first set of international definitions and reporting requirements for businesses, governments and other organisations specifying how they should measure and manage food loss and waste, as a step towards helping countries and companies improve efforts to store, transport and consume food more efficiently.

9 June 2016

The iPES food panel (International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems), has published a report reviewing the latest evidence on benefits and challenges with different production models, specifically looking at the industrial agriculture and agroecological farming systems. It argues that there are eight key reasons why industrial agriculture is locked in place despite its negative impacts; and it maps out a series of steps to break these cycles and shift towards expanding agroecological farming.

(Photo credit: Food Science and Nutrition journal)
9 June 2016

This article discusses the interplay of food requirements, food waste, food deficits, and associated GHG emissions. It estimates the agricultural GHG emissions associated with food waste, argues the importance of reducing food waste as a contribution to addressing GHG emissions and proposes a standardized method for estimating food waste for all countries.

20 April 2016

In a guest post for Carbon brief University of Leeds professor of population ecology and FCRN advisory board member Tim Benton and Dr Bojana Bajželj of WRAP conclude that food related emissions will take up our entire carbon budget by 2050 if we don’t change our diets and the way our food is produced, so destroying any chance of meeting the raised ambition of the Paris Agreement.

Photo credit: (Bernard Spragg, NZ. Under creative commons licence, Flickr)
31 March 2016

This paper finds that the EU’s climate targets for 2050 for methane and nitrous oxide can be met by a combination of technological improvements in agriculture (found to have a potential to cut emissions by nearly 50% in optimistic scenarios) and through a reduction in beef consumption. The study authors argue that these targets can be met even with a continued high consumption of pork and poultry.

Photo credit: US department of Agriculture (Flickr, creative commons)
10 March 2016

Meat consumption in the context of climate change can be regulated in various ways and this interesting (and very clearly written) article uses the example of a hypothetical EU tax on meat consumption. It addresses legal issues concerning three possible designs of a hypothetical EU tax on consumption of domestic and imported meat.

18 January 2016

In this policy briefing, Global Justice Now reports on the alleged “hidden emissions” of three major agribusinesses, the aim being to highlight the real contribution that multinational feed, fertiliser and beef agribusinesses make to climate change.

17 December 2015

This FAO brief on food waste discusses the carbon footprint of global food waste and so called embedded emissions in avoidable food waste. In order to measure the avoidable emissions it is necessary to know how much of what kind of food is wasted and where.

17 December 2015

This paper looks at how supplier relationship management impacts emission levels from food supply chains. It investigates the influence of corporate Supplier Engagement Programmes (SEP) and the limitations of SEP-led improvements. Supplier Engagement Programmes are programmes set up to allow supermarkets to, for example, review carbon reduction measures and request GHG emissions and other data from their suppliers.

17 December 2015

This study entitled, Can carbon emissions from tropical deforestation drop by 50% in 5 years?, published in Global Change Biology, discusses global carbon emission trends from deforestation and the case of Brazil in particular.

2 December 2015

The Food Foundation, a UK think tank that presents policy solutions to the public health challenges produced by the food system, has published its initial response to the Government’s spending review – which sets out departmental spending priorities over the next five years. The response focusses on the Review’s implications for food insecurity and public health spending.

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