Altering farming methods and addressing critical issues of the food system would cut carbon emissions by 30 percent and help keep global warming under check, experts have said.
The experts spoke at a side event on tackling food loss and waste to deliver food security and climate goals said there is evidence that the food system is a major contributor to global warming.
“The food system is part of the problem of global warming and part of the solutions,” Tessa Clark, co-founder, OLIO said.
“One of the most powerful solutions to reducing emissions lies in food waste. It comes above solar power,” she said.
She noted that in developed countries half of their food waste occurs in the kitchen, saying that food waste is causing biodiversity loss and problems for everyone.
She said the problem of food waste can be addressed with cooperation and partnerships between actors in the food systems.
This is the first time that agriculture and food systems would have a day at the cop, action experts say is making the sector rise to the top of climate change.
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The global food system is responsible for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and is the primary driver of biodiversity loss.
It also leads to the degradation of land and water resources.
About 22 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions came from agriculture, forestry, and other land use sectors in 2019, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
John Gathungu, executive director of Food Bank, Kenya said reducing food loss and waste help protect the environment and build resilience against shocks.
“Climate change is affecting food security globally and addressing critical challenges in the food system help communities better prepared to withstand shocks,” he said.
According to him, to address food waste globally, there is a need to ensure an adequate balance of synergy among all stakeholders, adding that data and interventions measuring are critical to tackling food waste.
“We need to plug the data gap to tackle food waste,” he said, noting that there is a need for leadership to step up to drive change across the food system.
Also, the experts call for the inclusion of food system climate action in climate financing.
“The climate food and nature crisis is a heavy burden for Africa and we cannot afford to wait.”