Home

Translate

en English af Afrikaans sq Albanian ar Arabic hy Armenian az Azerbaijani eu Basque be Belarusian bg Bulgarian ca Catalan zh-CN Chinese (Simplified) zh-TW Chinese (Traditional) hr Croatian cs Czech da Danish nl Dutch et Estonian tl Filipino fi Finnish fr French gl Galician ka Georgian de German el Greek ht Haitian Creole iw Hebrew hi Hindi hu Hungarian is Icelandic id Indonesian ga Irish it Italian ja Japanese ko Korean lv Latvian lt Lithuanian mk Macedonian ms Malay mt Maltese no Norwegian fa Persian pl Polish pt Portuguese ro Romanian ru Russian sr Serbian sk Slovak sl Slovenian es Spanish sw Swahili sv Swedish th Thai tr Turkish uk Ukrainian ur Urdu vi Vietnamese cy Welsh yi Yiddish
Open Translation

NAIROBI/LONDON: A report by WWF and the UK supermarket chain Tesco says 40 percent of all food is wasted while emitting 10 percent of global greenhouse gases (GHG). WWF Media officer Lilian Gikandi says there’s a better solution to wasting 2.5 billion tonnes of food annually while allowing up to 811 million people go hungry:


Is producing more food the only way to feed a growing population? It’s a question many scientists, farmers and politicians have been trying to answer, and one to which the logical answer would seem to be ‘yes’. However, it hides the fact that we are throwing away a huge amount of perfectly edible, nutritious food every year. New research shows more than 2.5 billion tonnes of food are estimated to go uneaten each year, which is about 40 percent of all the food produced.

Driven to Waste, a new report by WWF and Tesco updates our understanding of just how much food we waste by quantifying the total amount of food lost on farms globally and adding it to the latest estimates at other points of the supply chain. And these new numbers add up to a shocking picture: we now know that we are wasting 1.2 billion tonnes more food than previously estimated.

This food could help tackle global food insecurity - between 720 and 811 million people faced hunger in 2020, as many as 161 million more than in 2019. Aligned with better distribution, much of this food could feed many of these people. It would mean that we don’t just have to produce more food to feed more people and, in fact, reducing the environmental footprint of our food production is imperative if we are to meet climate and nature goals.

Based on the new data, global food waste contributes 10 percent of our global greenhouse gas emissions, not the 8.0 percent that was previously thought, and equivalent to nearly twice the annual emissions produced by all the cars driven in the US and Europe.

Food waste’s high emissions are largely due to food production using a huge amount of land, water and energy. An area the size of the Indian subcontinent (4.4 million square kilometres) and water volume equivalent to 304 million Olympic swimming pools are needed to produce food that never leaves the farm.

These staggering statistics do not include the additional resources used to produce food that is wasted further down the supply chain, nor the energy used to harvest, process and transport it. Worse still, uneaten food that ends up in landfills releases methane as it rots - methane is eight times more potent than carbon when it comes to global warming

Using less natural resources to produce food isn’t just good for the climate, it is also good for wildlife and biodiversity. It means less pressure to convert and damage forests, grasslands and oceans, and could free up some land to be returned to nature.

Crucially, in exploring the contributory factors to food loss, Driven to Waste overturns a long-held belief that food loss on farms is solely an issue in less affluent regions with lower levels of industrialization.

The report shows that per capita farm-stage losses are generally higher in industrialized regions. Despite having higher on-farm mechanization and only 37 percent of the global population, high and middle-income countries of Europe, North America and industrialized Asia contribute 58 percent of global harvest waste.

It is clear that the food waste problem is a global problem, and it requires a global solution:

o Governments must place food loss and waste, particularly on farms, higher on policy agendas, and introduce binding food waste reduction targets.
o Markets and supply chains need to help build fairer structures for farmers to prevent floods and gluts, or too much focus on producing certain foods.
o Multilateral institutions and NGOs need to increase funding, ambition and capacity, so they match the scale of the problem.

And of course, as individuals, we can all try to shop, cook and eat smarter, making sure we only prepare what we need, so that we aren’t throwing away perfectly good food.

Ultimately, we need to at least halve food loss and waste from farm to fork so we can help fight hunger and limit the impacts of food production on climate and nature.

Story Type: Comment

Vote for my Story

Our Rating: 9% - 1 votes

1000 Characters left


Latest News

September 22, 2021
Manufacturing Editor

Airbus introduces climate impact solutions

MOBILE, AL/TOULOUSE: By November this year Airbus will start delivering A220 and A320 aircraft to customers from its US manufacturing facility using a blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) sourced from World Energy and supplied by Signature Flight Support.…
September 22, 2021
Transportation Editor

Maritime sector calls on world leaders to act on climate mitigation

NEW YORK: Representatives of the entire maritime value chain have called on governments ahead of the UN COP26 Summit in November to align shipping with the Paris Agreement temperature goal – now agreed by scientists to be 1.5C. Developed by a…
September 22, 2021
Emissions Editor

G20 countries key to climate crisis

WASHINGTON, DC | BERLIN: Research by World Resources Institute and Climate Analytics says global temperature could be limited to +1.7°C by the end of the century, if G20 countries set 1.5°C-aligned emission reduction targets for 2030 and reach net-zero…
September 21, 2021
People Editor

World gets an ‘F’ in ethics

NEW YORK: The UN secretary-general António Guterres told the 76th General Assembly today the biased distribution of COVID-19 vaccines was an “obscenity” - with a surplus in some countries while over 90 percent of Africans still waited for their first dose.…
September 21, 2021
Emissions Editor

60 percent of Fortune Global 500 not committed to climate reduction targets

NEW YORK: The latest report from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in the run-up to COP26 in November, says countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement “fall far short of what is required” to keep…
September 17, 2021
Emissions Editor

Agility invests in inner-city electric delivery

STOCKHOLM: Supply chain services provider Agility has become an investor in Volta Trucks, participating in a Series B investment round of €37 million that also included Luxor Capital, Proterra and original seed investor Byggmästare Anders J Ahlström. Volta…
September 17, 2021
People Editor

New philanthropy fund for climate crisis solutions

THE HAGUE: The European Climate Foundation (ECF) has launched a Climate Finance Fund, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, to mobilize capital for climate crisis solutions. The platform aims to drive change by supporting innovative finance…
September 16, 2021
Energy Editor

Banks backs new UK oil field despite net-zero pledge

LONDON: Seventy-five miles west of the Shetland Islands there is a new oil field project known as Cambo. It’s owned by Shell and a private-equity backed firm called Siccar Point Energy. They have applied for a licence from Boris Johnson’s government to start…
September 16, 2021
Emissions Editor

P&G commits to 1.5°C

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble says it wants to achieve net-zero supply chain emissions - from raw material to retailer - by 2040. It will use trees or carbon capture to account for any residual emissions. The company has submitted a plan to the Science Based…
September 16, 2021
Energy Editor

European energy powers up GHG emissions reduction

LONDON: Latest data from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), enabling companies to set GHG emissions reduction targets, says while 18 European power companies have approved science-based targets, the US only has one – NRG Energy. The Houston,…
September 16, 2021
Transportation Editor

US partnership to develop electric and hydrogen- powered locomotives

PITTSBURGH, PA: Rail engineering company Wabtec has signed MoUs with Carnegie Mellon University and US short line rail operator Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) to develop and implement zero-emission battery and hydrogen technology. The partners want to establish a…
September 15, 2021
Food Editor

Too Good to Go takes off with SWISS

GENEVA: SWISS is collaborating with Too Good To Go, the food app that connects consumers with food that would otherwise be thrown away. Founded in Copenhagen in 2015, the Certified B Corp says it has since saved 348 million pounds of food, the equivalent of…

We are using cookies

By continuing you are agreeing to our use of cookies

I understand