Sustainable food consumption as a mitigation and adaptation strategy

Anna Birgitte Milford


Studies of GHG emissions from agriculture show that there are large differences in emissions from different products. In addition some foods require more land and water resources than others, which mean that in a future with food scarcity, moving from less to more sustainable food may become a necessity for there to be enough food for everyone. A changing of consumption and production from less to more sustainable food is thus both a mitigation strategy, as well as an adaptation strategy if climate change results in less available agricultural land and water resources, and more food loss due to more extreme weather conditions.

Forecasting the economic consequences of climate change on agricultural production cannot be done without taking into account our future consumption patterns.  What will be produced will always to a large extent be a result of what is being demanded by consumers.

This is a presentation of two ongoing projects related to this theme. One is a newly started project on factors which influence meat consumption. In a cross-country regression analysis we will estimate the importance of different factors such as income, price levels and degree of urbanization. We are particularly interested in the interlinkages between meat production and consumption at national levels.

The other project looks at typical diets in England, Spain and Norway, and will estimate through a multi objective optimization process how the diets can be changed, through taxes and subsidies, towards a diet which is both more healthy and climate friendly.

Previous issues and volumes can be found in the 'Archives' section.

You can refer to a paper published in this series in the following format Author (2013) Title. FACCE MACSUR Reports 2: D-C1.3, where "D-C1.3" is the article ID en lieu of page range.