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Celebrating the International Day of Forests: IPCC highlights the Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Reducing Food Loss and Waste

08 Apr 2015

The International Day of Forests was celebrated at FAO headquarters where FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva highlighted the encouraging results of the latest assessment report from the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Mr. Graziano da Silva was positive about the decrease in global emissions resulting from deforestation from 3.9 to 2.9 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year between 2001 and 2015. However, the growth rate of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are increasing and measures to curb emissions are urgently needed, according to the latest assessment report presented by Youba Sokona, Co-Chair of the IPCC Working Group III on climate change mitigation. These measures include reducing food loss and waste, which was estimated to contribute to 3.3 Gt of CO2 equivalent in 2007 (FAO, 2013).

According to a recent study by WRAP (2015), this is equivalent to 7% of the total annual GHG emissions. This makes food loss and waste a serious contributor to climate change but also an area where reduction measures have important mitigation potential.

The IPCC identified the mitigation potential of food losses and waste to be 0.6-6.0 Gt CO2 eq per year of GHG emission savings in 2050. Reduction measures in food loss and waste is considered by the IPCC as demand-side measures which have a large but still uncertain mitigation potential.

This is partly due to the fact that is related to behavior changes which could be difficult to predict.

For more information and to access to the webcast from the event, please visit: http://www.fao.org/forestry/international-day-of-forests/en/