Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Europe

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

6 December 2011

The Telegraph reports that the French government has stated that that all students will have to eat meat if they want lunch at school. Taking a packed lunch is not an alternative as they are also banned. The ban will shortly be extended to kindergartens, hospitals, prisons, colleges and old people's homes. French agriculture minister, Bruno Lemaire, said in January that the Government's aim for nutrition was to defend the French agricultural model and counter initiatives such as those by vegetarian campaigners like Sir Paul McCartney.

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.

18 November 2011

Defra has launched a £20m ‘Farm and Forestry Improvement’ fund as part of its revisions to the Rural Development Programme for England.  Open for grant applications of between £2,500 and £25,000, the scheme will focus on themes including nutrient management, energy efficiency, water harvesting and animal health.

Applicants have to show the funding will help them to improve the health and welfare of farm animals or save, recycle or reuse rainwater.

3 August 2011

If you only read one report highlighted in this section – read this.  It’s a study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change as supporting research for the publication of its latest Annual Report and is a really fascinating piece of work.  

13 July 2011

A new Foresight report is out: this one provides an overview of the evidence of threats and opportunities to the UK from international climate change, and considers how these may be considered by policymakers to ensure the UK is able to remain competitive, secure and able to protect the wellbeing of the nation. 

25 April 2011

An interesting article demonstrating the rebound effect resulting from increasing energy efficiency in the road freight transport sector in Portugal. Matos F J F and Silva F J F (2011). Energy Policy. The rebound effect on road freight transport: Evidence from Portugal, 39, 5, 2833-2841

25 April 2011

The Deparment for Transport has published its 2010 report which reveals a declining level of concern for the environment and and the usual complex tangle of human inconsistencies and hypocrisies.

3 March 2011

This paper is by some of the same authors who wrote a paper for Friend of the Earth (see mailing of 23/10/10) which modelled the health impact of a lower meat diet. You can read the FoE report here.

The FOE report essentially argues that a lower meat diet would deliver major health improvements largely because it assumes that a reduction in meat intakes will be compensated for by an increase in fruit and vegetables – which of course may or may not be the case.

23 February 2011

WWF has released its Livewell report, that looks at whether it is possible to eat a diet that is both lower in GHG emissions and more nutritionally balanced than current dietary norms in the UK.

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.

17 January 2011

This paper reports on an in-depth study of refrigeration in the UK food chain. It identifies the greenhouse gas impacts of the ‘cold chain’ and discusses some of the technological options for reducing these.  

17 January 2011

This paper considers what we know about the contribution that the fruit and vegetable sector makes to the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. It also looks at what we know about the options for achieving emissions reductions.

17 January 2011

This paper looks at the alcohol we consume here in the UK. It considers whether we can quantify in ‘good enough’ terms the contribution that our alcohol consumption makes to the UK’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

17 January 2011

This paper explores the contribution that our consumption of livestock products in the UK makes to greenhouse gases, the complexities associated with attempts at quantifying these impacts, the options for mitigation and the environmental and welfare challenges these options may present.

17 January 2011

This paper looks at what this means in terms of refrigeration’s contribution to UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, at how this reliance on refrigeration has come about and what the consequences might be as regards future trends and associated emissions. It looks at how we might be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with food refrigeration both by improving the greenhouse gas efficiency of the equipment itself and, as a culture, by reducing our dependence on the cold chain.

3 July 2010

The Committee on Climate Change has published its second progress report to Parliament. It says that a step change in the pace of underlying emissions reductions is still required if the UK is to meet its legislated carbon budgets - which require at least a 34% cut in emissions by 2020 relative to 1990 levels. Emissions of greenhouse gases have declined over the past year (by 8.6%), but this is almost entirely due to a reduction in economic activity caused by the recession and increased fossil fuel/ energy prices, and is not the result of the implementation of measures to reduce emissions.

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