The role of trade in the greenhouse gas footprints of EU diets

Sandstrom V, Valin H, Krisztin T, Havlik P, Herrero M, & Kastner T (2018). The role of trade in the greenhouse gas footprints of EU diets. Global Food Security 19: 48-55. DOI:10.1016/j.gfs.2018.08.007.

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Abstract

International trade presents a challenge for measuring the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission footprint of human
diets, because imported food is produced with different production efficiencies and sourcing regions differ in
land use histories. We analyze how trade and countries of origin impact GHG footprint calculation for EU food
consumption. We find that food consumption footprints can differ considerably between the EU countries with
estimates varying from 610 to 1460 CO2-eq. cap−1 yr−1. These estimates include the GHG emissions from
primary production, international trade and land use change. The share of animal products in the diet is the most
important factor determining the footprint of food consumption. Embedded land use change in imports also
plays a major role. Transition towards more plant-based diets has a great potential for climate change mitigation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate change; Food consumption; Greenhouse gas emissions; accounting; International trade; Land use change
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2018 06:09
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2018 06:09
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15461

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