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1024. Recipe for a Livable Planet

1024. Recipe for a Livable Planet


The agri-food systems are estimated to account for one-third of the global share of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The World Bank's new report, "Recipe for a Livable Planet," states that significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can help build food security and climate resilience, and protect vulnerable populations through feasible actions that improve soil, ecosystems, and human health while feeding the world's growing population.

The report notes that agri-food systems have low-cost climate action potential and can have a significant impact on climate  change mitigation through emissions reductions and carbon storage, even surpassing other sectors. On the other hand, recognizing that different countries have different ways of achieving climate goals, the report proposes a list of options for solutions.

High-income countries can strengthen their support for the adoption of low-emission agricultural technologies, including technical assistance for forest conservation programs that generate carbon credits for low- and middle-income countries, and promote price competitiveness for their low-emission food options by phasing out subsidies for high-emission food sectors.

Middle-income countries, which account for three-quarters of global agri-food greenhouse gas emissions, are expected to play a central role in reducing emissions through green practices such as reducing greenhouse gases from livestock and paddy fields, investing in healthy soils, reducing food loss and waste, and using land more efficiently.

In contrast, low-income countries should avoid the mistakes made by rich countries in the past and make the most of climate-smart opportunities for green and competitive economic development. Forest conservation and restoration contribute to sustainable economic development in low-income countries, as emissions from agri-food systems in low-income countries are caused by deforestation for food production purposes.

Reducing emissions from agri-food systems requires actions by all countries through a holistic approach across the entire value chain, from fertilizers, energy use, crop and livestock production to packaging and distribution.

The report emphasizes that the benefits of investing in reducing emissions in the agri-food sector outweigh the costs. To halve agri-food emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050, we need to increase our annual investment to $260 billion. Currently, twice this amount is spent on agricultural subsidies; thus, some of that can be reallocated to green investments while also raising additional investments to achieve net zero. These investments are expected to ultimately deliver $4 trillion in benefits, including improved human health, food security, jobs and profits, and carbon storage in forests and soils.

Sutton, William R.; Lotsch, Alexander; Prasann, Ashesh. 2024. Recipe for a Livable Planet: Achieving Net Zero Emissions in the Agrifood System. Agriculture and Food Series. Conference Edition. © Washington, DC: World Bank. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/41468 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program)



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