Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: GHG impacts and mitigation

9 April 2014

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.

9 April 2014

The long awaited Working Group II report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Round  was released on March 31st 2014. This report details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks.

27 March 2014

GreenFacts has produced a summary of the “Physical science basis” of climate change, which is the first part of the new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

12 March 2014

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.

14 February 2014

In this blog from Ecoagriculture's Landscapes blog, Rainforest alliance Climate program staff Martin Noponen & Jeffrey Hayward describe their views on the role of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and specifically the Sustainable Agriculture Network standard for addressing landscape-scale challenges arising from climate change.

28 January 2014

A series of studies aiming at assessing and improving agricultural economic models have been published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and in a Special Issue of the journal Agricultural Economics. These represent the findings of a major international program “The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement project” (AgMIP) – an effort to produce improved integrated crop, climate and economic models. The AgMIP project links climate, crop, and economic modelling communities with cutting-edge information technology and aggregate crop model outputs as inputs to regional and global economic models. In doing so it is possible to determine regional vulnerabilities, changes in comparative advantage, price effects, and potential adaptation strategies in the agricultural sector.

22 January 2014

The direct emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) from agriculture account for approximately 10% of total European Union (EU) emissions. In 2010, the European Parliament asked the European Commission to carry out a pilot project on the “certification of low-carbon farming practices in the European Union” to promote reductions of GHG emissions from farming.

20 January 2014

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.

10 January 2014

The international research team behind this article calls for an increased climate policy focus on reducing ruminant meat consumption. They argue that climate negotiations thus far have paid too little attention to the role of livestock when discussing greenhouse gas mitigation. Methane from ruminants is the largest human-related source of the greenhouse gasses. As such, reducing ruminant populations is the most effective way to cut methane emissions and would also reduce CO2 emissions resulting from forest clearance for livestock farming. The livestock sector as a whole contributes around 14.5 % of all human-caused GHGs according to the latest FAO report) – a figure that includes overall GHG emissions, not just methane.

6 November 2013

This dissertation looks at the sustainability of the current food system and analyzes how environmental impacts could be reduced and health impacts could be increased through dietary change. The results from this work suggest that dietary change, in areas with unrestricted diets, could play an important role in reaching environmental and health goals, potentially reducing GHG emissions and land use requirements by up to 50%.

6 November 2013

A video recording of Al Gore's public lecture for the Oxford Martin School is now available on the Oxford Martin School website here.

In his lecture Gore outlined the challenges presented in his latest book, ‘The Future’, ranging from climate change and wealth inequality to biotechnology and the loss of jobs to automation.

Additional events arranges by the Oxford Martin School can be found here

15 October 2013

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).

26 September 2013

New evidence suggests that a chemical mechanism operating in the roots of a tropical grass used for livestock feed holds enormous promise for reducing the emission of nitrous oxide. N2O is the most harmful of the warming gases, with a global warming potential 296 times that of carbon dioxide. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the livestock sector accounts for 65 percent of the nitrous oxide emitted.