Environmental Issues: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the food system contribute around one-third of global anthropogenic emissions. This includes agricultural production, land use change and pre- and post-processing (manufacturing, transport, energy, retail, consumer, waste). Carbon dioxide (CO2) is mainly emitted through biomass and soil organic carbon loss by land use change and fuel combustion for energy. Agriculture is the largest global, human induced contributor of the potent non-CO2 GHGs nitrous oxide and methane. The contribution of emitted GHG emissions from the food system varies greatly for regions and countries, showing large differences between the developed and the developing world. In developed countries, the main share of GHG emissions are produced in post processing, whereas in developing countries two-thirds of the emissions come from agricultural production. Mitigation options and strategies should integrate regional and country specific actions and consider the whole food chain. Only a combination of measures including dietary changes toward low GHG emitting food products, improvements in technologies and management, and reductions in food loss and waste can bring the needed mitigation of projected environmental pressures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Food Science
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Approach
EditorsP. Ferranti
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-824166-0
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameReference Module in Food Science

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved


  • Agriculture
  • Aquaculture
  • Consumer
  • Crop production
  • Diets
  • Energy
  • Fishery Food
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Land use change
  • Livestock
  • Mitigation
  • Rice
  • Waste


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