Linking food and climate change
A new article by GRAIN, ‘Food and climate change: the forgotten link’, explores how food is a key driver of climate change. Chemical fertilizers, heavy machinery and other petroleum-dependant farm technologies contribute significantly. The impact of the food industry as a whole is even greater, due to forest and land clearing for agriculture, and generation of climate-damaging waste through excess packaging, processing, refrigeration and the transport of food over long distances.
In GRAIN’s estimate, the current global food system, propelled by an increasingly powerful transnational food industry, is responsible for around half of all human produced greenhouse gas emissions: anywhere between a low of 44 percent to a high of 57 percent.
Yet, a new food system could be a key driver of solutions to climate change. If measures are taken to restructure agriculture and the larger food system around food sovereignty, small scale farming, agro-ecology and local markets, the world could cut global emissions in half within a few decades.
GRAIN research has also shown that, if the right policies and incentives were in place worldwide, soil organic matter contents could be restored to pre-industrial agriculture levels within a period of 50 years – which is roughly the same time frame that industrial agriculture took to reduce it.
The full article is available at http://www.grain.org/e/4357
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