"Food loss and waste are major problems around the world. When food is tossed
aside or allowed to spoil, it makes economies less productive and leaves people
It also harms Earth’s climate by generating methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Food loss and waste accounts for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If food
waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter in the world, ahead
of India and behind only China and the U.S.
Worldwide, 1.3 billion tons of food are lost or wasted every year. Earth’s
population is projected to increase from 8 billion today to roughly 10 billion
by 2050. Feeding that many people will require nations to increase agricultural
production by more than 70% and reduce food loss and waste.
Expanding food cold chains to the world’s least-developed countries can have
enormous impacts. But it also raises concerns if it’s not done in a way that
avoids contributing to climate change.
Existing refrigeration systems release hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs, and
hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are extremely potent greenhouse gases.
Producing electricity with fossil fuels to power these systems also worsens
climate change. For these reasons, exporting traditional cold chains to
developing countries is not environmentally and socially sustainable.
Instead, developing countries need cold chains that run on renewable energy and
use alternative refrigerants with lower climate impacts. As a scholar focusing
on sustainable development, green growth and climate change, I believe that
expanding cold chains in the developing world – particularly sub-Saharan Africa
– will not only benefit the environment but also provide important social
benefits, such as empowering women."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics