Climate: The World Bank wants to change food production

Climate: The World Bank wants to change food production
Climate: The World Bank wants to change food production

Changing food production could reduce emissions

Published today at 3:49 a.m.

Changing the way food is produced on a global scale can reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by almost a third, while still feeding people, according to a World Bank report published Monday.

“To protect our planet, we must transform the way we produce and consume food,” said World Bank Managing Director Axel van Trotsenburg in the foreword to this report.

The agri-food sector contributes “nearly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions”, or “more than all global heating and electricity emissions”, details the World Bank.

Rethinking agricultural subsidies

The report says the agri-food sector represents a “huge opportunity” to reduce global emissions by almost a third through “affordable and readily available actions”, and urges countries to invest more.

The benefits of such investments “far outweigh the costs,” and the World Bank estimates the investments needed to halve these emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050 at $260 billion per year.

“Double of this sum is spent each year on agricultural subsidies, many of which harm the environment,” underlines the institution, which calls for rethinking them, to finance part of the necessary investments.

“A third by 2030”

The benefits, in return, would amount to some 4,000 billion dollars, linked, in addition to lower emissions, to improved human health, food and nutritional security, employment, and better quality benefits. for farmers.

Middle-income countries, which produce two-thirds of agri-food greenhouse gas emissions, should, according to the World Bank, consider low-emission livestock farming practices and use land more sustainably.

“Simply changing the way middle-income countries use land (…) can reduce agri-food emissions by a third by 2030,” said Axel van Trotsenburg.

Mistakes of the past

As for rich countries, the World Bank calls on them to lead the way: “they can reduce energy emissions, help developing countries in their transition to low emissions and promote low-emission foods”.

But also “influence consumption by redirecting subsidies for red meat and dairy products towards low-emission foods, such as poultry or fruits and vegetables”.

The World Bank is finally encouraging low-income countries not to repeat the past mistakes of the wealthiest, by avoiding “building high-emission infrastructure that high-income countries must now replace.”


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