Where are the best opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the food system (including the food chain)?
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.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Martin, Philip L., 2007. "Immigration and Agriculture (PowerPoint)," Agricultural Outlook Forum 2007 8037, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Outlook Forum.
- Kahn, Barbara E & Wansink, Brian, 2004. " The Influence of Assortment Structure on Perceived Variety and Consumption Quantities," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 519-533, March.
- Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Martin, William J. & Liu, Yu, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in China," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48478, World Bank.
- Goodland, Robert, 1997. "Environmental sustainability in agriculture: diet matters," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 189-200, December.
- Bell, Lindsay W. & Byrne (nee Flugge), Felicity & Ewing, Mike A. & Wade, Len J., 2008. "A preliminary whole-farm economic analysis of perennial wheat in an Australian dryland farming system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 96(1-3), pages 166-174, March.
- Hargreaves, Tom & Nye, Michael & Burgess, Jacquelin, 2010. "Making energy visible: A qualitative field study of how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6111-6119, October.
- Kim, Brent & Neff, Roni, 2009. "Measurement and communication of greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. food consumption via carbon calculators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 186-196, November.
- Kym Anderson & Will Martin, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2611, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:s1:p:s23-s32. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.