Food waste and climate change

For such a widely discussed topic food waste is surprisingly low on the COP21 schedule this week in Paris. It’s not even a topic in itself – ‘food’ is mentioned under the agenda item of ‘Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry and Water Use’ but not ‘food waste’.

It’s surprising because food waste as an environmental issue is low-hanging fruit. It doesn’t require massively intensive capital investment to address – most of the quick wins can be achieved by introducing greater efficiencies at the production and distribution stage.

Some quick facts

  • You the consumer have a big role to play: about ⅓ of wastage occurs at consumer level.
  • ⅔ happens at the production and distribution level with food rotting on fields and being spoiled in transport.
  • The equivalent of 86 million chickens of food waste are tipped in landfill each year – that’s about 21 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Get an insight with this slightly disgusting video of a decomposing chicken!

Why should you care?

What can you do?

Get involved with the debate here #COP21

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