Our Challenge

The world is projected to hold nearly 10 billion people by 2050. Sustainably feeding this exploding population requires simultaneously addressing challenges facing people, nature and climate.

Around 800 million people face hunger globally, and research shows the world will have to close a gap of 56% between the amount of food available today and that required by 2050. Meanwhile, unsustainable food production systems are largely responsible for destroying the world’s ecosystems and fueling climate change. Agriculture uses almost half the world’s vegetated land, consumes 70% of freshwater withdrawals, drives deforestation in tropical nations and generates nearly one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. And shifting diets in many parts of the world are only increasing demand for resource-intensive foods.


of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture


of all food produced is lost or wasted, approximately 1 billion tons every year


Cows and other ruminants contribute roughly half of all emissions from agriculture and land-use change

Our Approach

WRI aims to transform the way the world produces food to create a better future for people, nature and the climate. We develop cutting-edge research and innovative partnerships to produce more food while protecting and restoring ecosystems and shifting toward lower-carbon consumption patterns.

Our research identifies a menu of solutions to the world’s food production and consumption problems. We analyze strategies to sustainably increase food production, such as by increasing pasture yields and improving land and water management. We advance methods to reduce food production’s impact on the environment, such as by protecting primary forests and restoring degraded farmland back into productivity. We develop research, tools and partnerships to help countries, cities and businesses measure and reduce their food loss and waste. And we help dining facilities and others shrink their climate footprints by shifting toward plant-rich foods.

The Food Program focuses on a number of specific initiatives, including projects on Climate-Friendly Diets and Food Loss and Waste. Explore all projects in depth.


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