In this file:

 

·         Global food-miles account for nearly 20% of total food-systems emissions

… Global freight transport associated with vegetable and fruit consumption contributes 36% of food-miles emissions—almost twice the amount of greenhouse gases released during their production…

 

·         ‘Food miles’ have larger climate impact than thought, study suggests

… the lead author of the study tells Carbon Brief that while eating local does reduce emissions, this should be paired with eating seasonal produce and reducing meat consumption to limit dietary emissions…

 

 

Global food-miles account for nearly 20% of total food-systems emissions

 

Mengyu Li, Nanfei Jia, Manfred Lenzen, Arunima Malik, Liyuan Wei, Yutong Jin & David Raubenheimer, Nature Food

20 June 2022

 

Abstract

 

Food trade plays a key role in achieving global food security. With a growing consumer demand for diverse food products, transportation has emerged as a key link in food supply chains. We estimate the carbon footprint of food-miles by using a global multi-region accounting framework. We calculate food-miles based on the countries and sectors of origin and the destination countries, and distinguish the relevant international and domestic transport distances and commodity masses. When the entire upstream food supply chain is considered, global food-miles correspond to about 3.0 GtCO2e (3.5–7.5 times higher than previously estimated), indicating that transport accounts for about 19% of total food-system emissions (stemming from transport, production and land-use change). Global freight transport associated with vegetable and fruit consumption contributes 36% of food-miles emissions—almost twice the amount of greenhouse gases released during their production. To mitigate the environmental impact of food, a shift towards plant-based foods must be coupled with more locally produced items, mainly in affluent countries.

 

more, with subscription

https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-022-00531-w

 

 

‘Food miles’ have larger climate impact than thought, study suggests

 

Ayesha Tandon, Carbon Brief

20.06.2022

 

Global “food miles” emissions are higher than previously thought – accounting for nearly one-fifth of total food-system emissions – new research suggests.

 

The study, published in Nature Food, estimates the carbon footprint of the global food transport system. The authors assess the entire food supply chain – considering emissions from transporting fertilisers, machinery and animal feed as well as from moving the food itself.

 

They find that in a single year, global food miles were responsible for 3bn tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions – 3.5-7.5 times larger than previous estimates.

 

“Food-miles emissions are driven by the affluent world,” the study says. It finds that while “high income nations” represent only about 12.5% of the world’s population, they are responsible for 52% of international food miles and 46% of the associated emissions.

 

The authors also reflect on the pros and cons of buying local food – an often-touted solution for reducing food emissions. The study showed that ending all international food transport would cut food-miles emissions by just 9%, highlighting the relatively greater importance of other dietary choices in tackling the climate impact of the sector.

 

As such, the lead author of the study tells Carbon Brief that while eating local does reduce emissions, this should be paired with eating seasonal produce and reducing meat consumption to limit dietary emissions.

 

This study presents “a significant deviation from the former scientific mainstream opinion that transport is no major contributor to emissions from the food system”, a scientist not involved in the research tells Carbon Brief. However, he adds that he would “interpret the results with caution”, as emissions may be overestimated in places.

 

‘Food miles emissions’ ...

 

Global supply chain ...

 

Buying local ...

 

more, including links, charts, maps   

https://www.carbonbrief.org/food-miles-have-larger-climate-impact-than-thought-study-suggests/