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COP26: The Many Links Between Food Systems & Climate Change: Message to Glasgow

Unless food systems transformation is put at the center of climate action, commitments governments have already made, and could make at COP26, will be jeopardized.

Today’s industrialized food system — which includes the growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consumption, and disposal of food and food-related items — makes us ill, doesn’t meet the needs of the global population, and has adverse effects on climate change.

Almost a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food systems. The industrialized practices — from chemical pesticide use to mono-culture crops — at the heart of the dominant global food system have also destroyed 66% of biodiversity, 61% of commercial fish stocks, and 33% of soils.

Then there’s food wastage which equates to 1.3 billion tonnes a per year and produces enough GHG emissions that, should it be a country, it would be the third-largest source of GHG emissions.

We know that waste and loss occur throughout the food supply-chain and mostly involve the waste of edible food by consumers in medium- and high-income countries and loss during harvest, storage, and transport in lower-income countries.