Our Top Stories
Shifting the food industry: The food sector remains relatively untouched by international pressure to reduce carbon emissions, but desperately requires a monumental shift to start making a difference. The Ecologist explores the major issues and solutions within the food industry, noting that meat remains the biggest contributor to emissions, and regenerative agriculture is so far the leading solution to move the sector in the right direction. As an example, Nestlé - one of the world’s largest food companies - has committed to investing $1.3 billion over five years to help farmers transition to regenerative agricultural techniques. [The Ecologist]
The hottest month on record: The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) has said that July’s global average temperature of 16.95 degrees Celsius was well above the previous 16.63C record set in 2019. Politico highlights the effects of high global temperatures with severe heat waves taking place across the Northern Hemisphere, from the United States to the Mediterranean and China. With the El Niño phenomenon expected to exacerbate the effects of man-made climate change, it’s possible more records will be broken in 2023. [Politico]
The Amazon Summit: Edie reports on the Amazon Summit, at which the eight countries that share the Amazon basin have signed a new, first-in-a-generation agreement to tackle deforestation. The outcome was a written collaboration to tackle deforestation, but the declaration stipulates that each nation can draw up its own plans to halt deforestation by 2030. This was a weaker outcome than many environmentalists had hoped for, and there are concerns that nations could continue to allow ‘legal’ deforestation beyond climate limits. [Edie]
Business Spotlight - Whyte & Mackay
Whisky producer Whyte & Mackay have partnered with Carbon Capture Scotland in a carbon removal initiative worth £120 million, focused solely on the whisky and agriculture sector. The new processes will capture biogenic CO2 produced from fermentation during whisky production, and once the CO2 is captured, it can then be transported to nearby utilisation and sequestration locations. As Scotland is one of the largest whisky producers in the world, and given that it provides a large economic benefit to the nation, it’s promising to see first movers like Whyte & Mackay taking steps to minimise their environmental impact. [Food Manufacture]
The richest habitat: Mark Anthony and his team have found evidence for the first time that soil is the most species-rich habitat on Earth. According to their findings, more than half of all species live in the soil, with it being home to 90% of fungi, 85% of plants, and more than 50% of bacteria. Although it was widely expected that this was the case, no study of this size had been completed until now. The world’s soil is where 95% of the planet’s food is grown, yet it has historically been left out of wider debates about nature protections because it is so understudied. Hopefully these results will place a spotlight on soil going forward, spurring new treaties and laws to not only protect the high levels of biodiversity, but our fragile food system too. [PNAS]
“A third of the planet’s land is severely degraded and 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil are lost every year through intensive farming alone.”Source: The Global Land Outlook
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.