Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Climate Issue You’ve Never Heard Of - by John Mandyck - Chief Sustainability Officer, United Technologies Corporation

Vegetables (Credit: huffingtonpost.com) Click to Enlarge.
On October 16, we celebrated World Food Day, which reminds us of some hard truths.  Although we find many ways to celebrate food throughout the year, we waste 40% of it.  Nearly 1 billion people around the world go to bed hungry every night.  Food security is a major issue around the globe.

The amount of food we waste around the world is certainly foolish given the millions of people who lack access to food and are trapped in poverty, but it has another devastating effect you might not think about when you throw away half of your uneaten lunch.

Food waste affects climate change.

This year’s World Food Day theme recognizes the need to bring these two issues together: “Climate is changing.  Food and agriculture must too.”  I am thrilled that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has chosen this as its theme this year.  I fully believe that when food waste is managed as a climate issue, it will unlock new policies and resources to do something about it.

And food waste is definitely a climate issue.  Here’s why:
  • If measured as a country, food waste is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, behind China and the United States.
  • Eliminating the carbon dioxide emissions from food waste is the same as taking every car off of every road, every year.
  • The amount of water used to produce food we throw away would easily fill the entire water need for the continent of Africa.
  • Not to mention, the food we waste is a resource to feed 4 billion more people - enough to feed all that suffer from hunger today and enough to feed our growing population through 2050.
Lowering food waste is the only climate policy that simultaneously reduces greenhouse gasses, feeds more people, saves water, and promotes national security.  No other policy can do the same. 

Read more at The Climate Issue You’ve Never Heard Of

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