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Tackling food waste begins with every individual on Earth

13 February 2017


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If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), said the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), said the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Speaking on Day Two of the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai, during a panel on the impact of climate change on food security, HE Patricia Espinosa added that tackling food waste begins with individual habits.

“Food security is not just about how many people we can feed, but about the effect it has on climate change – an issue that is at the very centre of development,” she said.

According to the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, HE José Graziano Da Silva, the world’s entire food system needs to change to adapt to the effects of climate change.

“We need to change everything, from the way we produce food to the way we eat it,” he said. “Regarding production, it is imperative that we become more efficient in the use of our natural resources.”

Reiterating the fact that global agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s fresh water, and one-third of food produced is wasted, Da Silva added, “it is important things change on the policy level, but what is as equally crucial is that our consumer habits also change.”

Adding to the conversation, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan, HE Tshering Tobgay, said unless we control the warming of our planet, it is the world’s poorest who stand to suffer the most, since they depend on agriculture for survival.

“With 10 per cent of the world’s population living below the poverty line in a time where the world has never been this rich, technologically advanced or interconnected,” he said. “If we don’t want to do enough to help them, at least let’s not make it worse for them.”