Climate change mitigation beyond agriculture: A review of food system opportunities and implications
This article (PDF) in the Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems journal reviews potential mitigation opportunities across the entire food system, including in pre-production, production, processing, transport, consumption and loss and waste. It also explores the applicability of different climate mitigation strategies in varying country contexts with different economic and agricultural systems. Further, the review highlights some potential adaptation cobenefits of food system mitigation strategies and explores the potential implications of such strategies on food systems as a whole. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the food systems requires actions from all value chain participants. Policies and funding will be critical catalysts for positive change. Public policy will play a major role in driving this change in balance with other goals for food systems. Examples are the policy shift from voluntary measures to complementary actions, such as stronger regulatory and fiscal incentives, and integration of sustainability criteria in food dietary guidelines. A critical barrier remains the shortfall in public and private finance to catalyze the transition. The authors argue that it is important to incorporate food systems thinking and related GHG mitigation and adaptation impacts into the decision-making process, as policies are developed and investments are mobilized for achieving a variety of other sustainable development goals. More research is needed on a variety of topics, e.g. on understanding the myriad benefits and impacts of cold-chain expansion, on improved post-harvest management and on mitigation opportunities in horticulture.