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Changes in Agrifood Production Can Cut Greenhouse Emissions by a Third

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Changes in Agrifood Production Can Cut Greenhouse Emissions by a Third

A groundbreaking report from the World Bank unveils a powerful strategy to slash global greenhouse gas emissions by almost a third while ensuring food security and resilience for all. “Recipe for a Livable Planet: Achieving Net Zero Emissions in the Agrifood System” outlines practical actions that can revolutionize the agrifood system, making it a pivotal player in combating climate change.

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Axel van Trotsenburg, Senior Managing Director of the World Bank, emphasizes the transformative potential of the agrifood sector: not only can it mitigate emissions, but it can also nurture healthier soils, ecosystems, and communities. By making strategic changes to how land is utilized for food production, emissions from the agrifood system could be slashed by a third by 2030.

Central to the report’s findings is the recognition that every country has a role to play in achieving climate goals. High-income nations can lead by example, redirecting subsidies away from high-emission food sources and investing in low-emission farming methods. Middle-income countries, meanwhile, hold significant potential to curb emissions through greener practices such as soil conservation and reducing food loss. Low-income nations can forge a path toward sustainability by prioritizing forest preservation and seizing climate-smart opportunities for economic development.

The report emphasizes that comprehensive action across all countries is imperative to reach net zero emissions. Investments totaling $260 billion annually will be required to halve agrifood emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. While this may seem daunting, the benefits far outweigh the costs, with projected returns exceeding $4 trillion. These benefits encompass improved human health, food security, job quality, and profitability for farmers, alongside vital carbon sequestration in forests and soils.

In essence, the report highlights the immense potential of the agrifood sector to drive meaningful climate action while simultaneously safeguarding food supplies and livelihoods. By embracing sustainable practices and investing in transformative solutions, nations can pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable future for all.