Our Top Stories
Where are the trees in cities: Thred reports on the thousands of studies that prove that urban forests are an effective mitigation strategy for heatwaves, surge flooding, and air pollution. However, city administrations insist that tree planting requires too much of an upfront investment. But that has proven to be short sighted. For instance, in a Lisbon study, results showed that despite trees requiring about $1.9 million in government spending annually, the natural services they provide are worth around $8.4 million. [Thred]
The climate impact of rice: The world’s most consumed food - rice - has a higher climate impact than initially believed, sitting well above air travel in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. According to Wicked Leeks, this is due to both the way rice is grown and the practice of burning the stubble after harvesting. To decrease its impact, more sustainable rice-growing methods are coming to the fore, with one in particular - drying out paddy fields in between harvests to eradicate methane-emitting bacteria - cutting emissions by almost half. [Wicked Leeks]
Nature’s five-point plan: Edie reports on the coalition of 80 charities - including the National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, and the Woodland Trust - which has urged all political parties to include a commitment to nature in their general election manifestos, in a effort to fulfil public demand for environmental action and to achieve key nature goals by 2050. The five-point plan aims to double the budget for wildlife-friendly farming to £6 billion, implement a Nature Recovery Obligation that holds polluters accountable for nature restoration, and initiate a large-scale scheme for creating green jobs. [Edie]
Business Spotlight - Wild Planet
Seafood producer Wild Planet has launched a new line of products that it claims have a lower environmental impact than their traditional counterparts. The fish is sourced from the North Pacific Ocean, with Wild Planet partnering with small fishermen who use practices such as 100% pole and line fishing and selective harvesting. Currently, the fishing industry is extremely damaging to the environment, and degraded ecosystems are contributing to rising global emissions. As seafood is still a major source of protein for many of the world’s population, this is a welcome change in tack to minimise the destruction of vital ocean habitats. [Food Dive]
The consequences of your diet: Peter Scarborough and his team at Oxford University have studied the climate impact of the most common diets in the UK. They found that halving the amount of meat in big meat-eaters’ diets (regarded as 100g or more per day) would be equivalent to taking 8 million cars off the road. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with high meat diets (100g a day, or one big burger) compared to low meat diets (50g a day, or two chipolata sausages) is almost double, showing that meat doesn’t need to be completely eradicated from the diet to have an immediate beneficial effect to the climate. Small changes can make a big difference. [Nature]
“A big meat-eater's diet produces an average of 10.24 kg of planet-warming greenhouse gases each day. A low meat-eater produces almost half that at 5.37 kg per day. And for vegan diets - it's halved again to 2.47 kg a day.”Source: Nature / BBC
The Big Picture
The food and agriculture industry is at the heart of the climate crisis, generating around a third of man-made greenhouse emissions. And while the challenge of reducing its impact may seem beyond our grasp, it is one that we all have the power to tackle.
We believe that the solution lies in climate transparency. That’s why we’re equipping businesses with the means to evaluate and communicate the emissions of their products. This, in turn, means consumers are armed with credible, independent information, which can be used to make more sustainable choices.
We know that many people want to take climate action but lack the necessary tools and information to do so. We're confident that, armed with the right knowledge, everyone can and will do their bit to build a greener, more sustainable food system.