Climate change mitigation through the reduction of food loss and waste

Global food losses contribute to ~8% of annual GHG emissions. Food losses will increase further, which is unacceptable given global food insecurity and the need to mitigate climate change.

Levels of food waste will increase further with growth of the middle class, shift in diets and increase of incomes in many countries. Reducing biomass loss related to food production may also contribute to non-fossil fuel-energy options. Although action and research agendas for reducing food loss and waste exist, the link to climate change remains little studied and poorly understood. The aim of this project is thus to provide evidence for the amount of mitigation that could be achieved by reducing food loss and waste, the drivers for food loss and waste in supply chains important to mitigation, and to identify strategies for reducing food loss and waste in ways that achieve a food- and nutrition-secure food system while also reducing emissions. 

Through developing a model that gives insight into the relationship between food loss and waste and GHG emissions throughout the entire agro-food chain and specified for product(group) and worldregions, we will be able to identify priority value chains and regions as well as main causes for food loss and waste from a GHG emissions perspective. Consequently, this information allows us to analyze interventions and drivers for sustainable reduction of losses. Supporting theoretical insight with data collection and analysis from pilot studies will allow us further to draw lessons learned and best practices for further dialogue and engagement in the agro-food sector on GHG emission reductions associated with food loss and waste.

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