Utrecht University publishes on F&A in relation to climate change

The Copernicus institute associated with the University of Utrecht has published a report that analyses the potential impact of the food & agriculture industry on climate change and key measures to take in order to mitigate its impact on global greenhouse emissions. The report was financially supported by Rabobank.

The report finds that food & agriculture sector has a crucial role to play in protecting the environment against climate change. The sector contributes 25% to around one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions and yet the demand for food will only grow in the next decades. As increased food production will also further raise the sector’s GHG emissions, putting a halt on climate change becomes even more difficult.

The report however also finds that we can do a lot to limit the impact of food production on our climate. To this end it will be necessary to reduce the sector’s use of resources like energy, water and land, who all directly or indirectly contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions. The report mentions three major changes to the F&A system that can help mitigate climate change: a switch to alternative (vegetable) proteins, a further enhancement of yield efficiency and a significant reduction of food waste. The report finds that adopting more alternative proteins in our diet would have the most positive effect on our climate, reducing emissions from F&A by 30%-40% versus the reference scenario.