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Food Systems Responsible for ‘One Third’ of Human-caused Emissions

“Food systems” were responsible for 34% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions in 2015, according to new research.

The study, published in Nature Food, presents EDGAR-FOOD – the first database to break down emissions from each stage of the food chain for every year from 1990 to 2015. The database also unpacks emissions by sector, greenhouse gas and country.

According to the study, 71% of food emissions in 2015 came from agriculture and “associated land use and land-use change activities” (LULUC).The rest stemmed from retail, transport, consumption, fuel production, waste management, industrial processes and packaging.

The study finds that CO2 accounts for roughly half of food-related emissions, while methane (CH4) makes up 35% – mainly from livestock production, farming and waste treatment.

Emissions from the retail sector are rising, the study finds, and increased by 3-4 times in Europe and the US between 1990 and 2015.

The authors also find that “food miles” contribute less to food emissions than packaging. The authors add that 96% of the emissions from transporting food come from local or regional transport by road and rail, rather than international transport.

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Net Zero Emissions Would Stabilize Climate Quickly Says UK Scientist

Rising seas, ocean acidification, melting ice caps, raging forest fires, melting tundra — everywhere you look, the news about climate change and the effects of a warming planet is bad. The world’s nations are continuing to spew billions of tons of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere despite all their happy talk about meeting the “spirit” of the accords they signed in Paris in 2015. Is there no respite from the dire news, no relief from the constant drumbeat of bad news and apocalyptic projections?

The conventional wisdom among climate scientists has long been that if we stopped all carbon emissions today, the climate would continue to warm for decades or even centuries. Think of climate change as a really big oil tanker. Even after the engines are shut down, its forward progress continues for miles and miles. That has led many people to throw up their hands in despair and choosing to continue doing what they have always done because if we are doomed, at least let’s have some fun while we still can. It’s like the band playing Nearer My God To Thee on the fantail of the Titanic as it slipped beneath the waves but if the message is that there is no hope, why not?

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Fighting Climate Change on the Farm

Author: Kevin Ma | Published on: April 26, 2017

U of A scientists will study new ways to stop climate change this summer at a farm just north of St. Albert with the help of a federal grant.

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced $3.7 million in grants for researchers at the University of Alberta last Friday. The grants are part of the federal Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program and are meant to create practices and technologies farmers can use to reduce carbon emissions.

“Farmers have a key role to play in feeding the world and saving the planet,” MacAulay said, and have already taken significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with wheat and beef production.

Agriculture accounts for about 10 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, reports Environment Canada – equivalent to the annual emissions of about 7.7 million homes or 21.2 coal power plants for a year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates.

KEEP READING ON ST. ALBERT GAZETTE