Shifting food consumption to mitigate climate change is critical to fulfilling the Paris Agreement, but how?
This info note (PDF) from CGIAR’s CCAFS assessment the available measures to mitigate climate change through shifting food consumption and reveals some opportunities, particularly through linking with public health and other policy areas. Reducing emissions by changing consumption of foods with large greenhouse gas emissions could have a major impact on climate change. Yet past efforts to change diets through public policy have had mixed results, suggesting that recent estimates of technical mitigation potential likely exceed feasible reductions in emissions. Shifting consumption away from livestock products is a major opportunity for reducing emissions driven by consumption demand. In some contexts, this could also provide health, food security and other environmental benefits. The authors argue that packages of policy mechanisms and interventions involving health, nutrition, efficiency and sustainability in supply chains will be more effective in achieving dietary change than any one measure. In addition, focusing on reducing food loss and waste in high potential areas and involving key value chain actors can increase returns on efforts to mitigate climate change and improve food security. Private sector investment in reducing food loss and waste requires an enabling environment, support for development of commercially viable investments, and increased awareness among financial institutions of investment opportunities.