Showing results for: Theory, methods and tools
There are different ways to analyse and evaluate impacts from food production and consumption. This section highlights papers that introduce specific methodologies, tools and theories that can be used as a guide or reference when developing a research or policy approach.
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)
Carbon dioxide and global climate change are largely invisible, and the prevailing imagery of climate change is often remote (such as ice floes melting) or abstract and scientific (charts and global temperature maps). Using visual imagery such as 3D and 4D visualizations of future landscapes, community mapping, and iconic photographs, this book demonstrates new ways to make carbon and climate change visible in our own backyards and local communities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An interesting paper confirming what intuition might suggest – that men’s diets have a higher GHG burden than women’s because, (even allowing for the fact that men generally need to eat more) they tend to eat more meat; women’s diets are more water demanding due to their greater consumption of fruit and vegetables (the study looks at irrigation water rather than overall water).
This study finds, unlike many LCAs, that the environmental (including GHG) impacts of the grass-based dairy farm are lower than for the farm where livestock are confined. The area of land required is also lower in the grass-based than in the confinement based farm.
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).
An article in Foodnavigator suggests that smart barcodes will replace eco labels, as they have the potential to provide shoppers with a far greater amount of information than a pack label can.
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.
This new book, published by Earthscan, provides a critical assessment of the contemporary global food system in light of the heightening food crisis, as evidence of its failure to achieve food security for the world's population.
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
The purpose of this briefing paper is to explore the different ways in which one might view the contributions that livestock in intensive and extensive systems make to greenhouse gas emissions.