UN Food and Agriculture Organization Focuses on Mitigating Greenhouse Emissions of Off-Farm Activities

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published a new report, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Food System: Building the Evidence Base,” in which experts estimates that food-system emissions amounted to 16 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide or equivalents (CO2eq) in 2018, an 8% increase since 1990. The report found that agricultural activity now represents 33% of all human-caused GHG emissions. The ongoing study considers GHG emissions linked to farm-gate production, land use change at the boundary between farms and natural ecosystems, and supply chains including consumption and waste disposal, to offer a clear view of trends at the global, regional, and country levels. One emergent theme identified by the study is that optimal GHG mitigation strategies require a focus on activities before and after farm production, ranging from the industrial production of fertilizers to refrigeration at the retail level.