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Where are the best opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the food system (including the food chain)?

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  • Garnett, Tara
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    Abstract

    This paper reviews estimates of food related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the global, regional and national levels, highlighting both GHG-intensive stages in the food chain, and GHG-intensive food types. It examines approaches that have been proposed for mitigating emissions at each stage in the chain and looks at how these sit within wider discussions of sustainability. It finds that efficiency-focused technological measures, while important, may not only be insufficient in reducing GHGs to the level required but may also give rise to other environmental and ethical concerns. It gives evidence showing that in addition to technological mitigation it will also be necessary to shift patterns of consumption, and in particular away from diets rich in GHG-intensive meat and dairy foods. This will be necessary not just in the developed but also, in the longer term, in the developing world. This move, while potentially beneficial for food secure, wealthier populations, raises potentially serious nutritional questions for the world’s poorest. A priority for decision makers is to develop policies that explicitly seek to integrate agricultural, environmental and nutritional objectives.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919210001132
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2011)
    Issue (Month): S1 ()
    Pages: S23-S32

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:s1:p:s23-s32

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

    Related research

    Keywords: Food; Greenhouse gas emissions; Mitigation; Meat; Livestock; Consumption;

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    Cited by:
    1. Lombardini, Chiara & Lankoski, Leena, 2011. "An Economic-Psychological Model of Sustainable Food Consumption," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114403, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Jones, A.K. & Jones, D.L. & Cross, P., 2014. "The carbon footprint of lamb: Sources of variation and opportunities for mitigation," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 97-107.
    3. Dorward, Leejiah J., 2012. "Where are the best opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the food system (including the food chain)? A comment," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 463-466.
    4. Vázquez-Rowe, Ian & Villanueva-Rey, Pedro & Moreira, Mª Teresa & Feijoo, Gumersindo, 2013. "The role of consumer purchase and post-purchase decision-making in sustainable seafood consumption. A Spanish case study using carbon footprinting," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 94-102.
    5. van Dooren, C. & Marinussen, Mari & Blonk, Hans & Aiking, Harry & Vellinga, Pier, 2014. "Exploring dietary guidelines based on ecological and nutritional values: A comparison of six dietary patterns," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 36-46.
    6. Kissinger, Meidad, 2012. "International trade related food miles – The case of Canada," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 171-178.

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