Knowledge for better food systems

The case for low-carbon transition in the food sector

Government policies are not doing enough to support the transition to a lower-carbon foods sector, according to a report by the Changing Markets Foundation. Specifically, the report argues in favour of policies to shift the food system away from animal agriculture and towards plant-based foods.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • Putting in place climate targets that drive emission reductions in animal agriculture in line with Paris agreement
  • Introducing fiscal policies to reduce meat demand and consumption
  • Implementing dietary guidelines that encourage a shift to healthier diets including the reduction of animal products
  • Shifting subsidies away from intensive animal farms and addressing the negative externalities of animal agriculture
  • Incentivising the production of protein crops, such as pulses, for human consumption, and
  • Funding more research and development of plant-based and other meat alternatives, such as lab-grown meat.

Read the full report, “Growing the Good: The Case for Low-Carbon Transition in the Food Sector”, here. See also the Foodsource chapter How can we reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions?

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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.

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