Study: Food may cause almost a third of greenhouse gases

October 31, 2012 02:14

OSLO - Food production accounts for up to 29 percent of man-made greenhouse gases, twice the amount the United Nations has estimated comes from farming, a study published on Wednesday said.

Looking at emissions across the food system - including forest clearance, fertilizer production and transport - rather than just farming itself - agriculture research organization CGIAR said much more work was needed to cut climate change emissions from food.

Its report, "Climate Change and Food Systems", estimated food production was responsible for between 19 and 29 percent of mankind's total greenhouse emissions, far above UN estimates of 14 percent based on a narrower definition of farming.

"From a food point of view (the UN approach) doesn't make sense," said Bruce Campbell, who heads the CGIAR research program on climate change, agriculture and food security.

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