Nine charts that show why the US needs to tackle food emissions

Nine charts that show why the US needs to tackle food emissions

Food systems are significant contributors to the climate crisis with meat and dairy the greatest culprits

The UN climate talks at the Cop26 summit in Scotland are in a crunch final week, with countries under pressure to act amid warnings of disastrous global heating. But one source of emissions that is often overlooked is literally in front of us every day: our food.

The steps it takes to bring food to our tables – everything from production to processing to food waste – are responsible for between 21% and 37% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2019 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cutting emissions from each of these steps will be crucial in limiting the Earth’s warming.

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