RANKING AND RESULTS BY 2050 #3
70.53 GIGATONS REDUCED CO2
GLOBAL COST AND SAVINGS DATA
TOO VARIABLE TO BE DETERMINED.
One of the great miracles of life on this planet is the creation of food. The alchemy human beings do with seed, sun, soil, and water produces figs and fava beans, pearl onions and okra. It can include raising animals for their flesh or yield and transforming raw ingredients into chutney or case or capellini. For more than a third of world’s labor force, the production of food is the source of their livelihoods, and all people are sustained by consuming it.
Losing food to one waste heap or another is an issue in both high- and low-income countries, though the drivers differ.
National goals and policies can encourage widespread change. In 2015, the United States set a food-waste target, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The same year, France passed a law forbidding supermarkets from trashing unsold food and requiring that they pass it on to charities or animal feed or composting companies instead. Italy followed suit. Entrepreneurs are capitalizing on wasted food—from turning homely fruits and veggies into juice to growing mushrooms from used coffee grounds to morphing brewery waste into animal feed. Of course, from an emissions perspective, the most effective efforts are those that avert waste, rather than finding better uses for it after the fact.
IMPACT: After taking into account the adoption of plant-rich diets, if 50 percent of food waste is reduced by 2050, avoided emissions could be equal to 26.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide. Reducing waste also avoids the deforestation for additional farmland, preventing 44.4 gigatons of additional emissions. We used forecasts of regional waste estimates from farm to household. This data shows that up to 35 percent food in high-income economies is thrown out by consumers, in low-income economies; however, relatively little is wasted at the household level.
– Pages 42 – 43, Section (excerpt only) from book DRAWDOWN – THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE PLAN EVER PROPOSED TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING | EDITED BY PAUL HAWKEN