Our Challenge

The world is projected to hold nearly 10 billion people by 2050. Sustainably feeding this exploding population requires meeting three needs simultaneously. 

According to WRI research, the world will have to close a gap of 56% between the amount of food available today and that required by 2050. It must reduce agriculture’s impact on climate, ecosystems and water. And it needs to ensure that agriculture supports inclusive economic and social development. 

Yet today, hundreds of millions of people remain hungry, agriculture uses almost half the world’s vegetated land, and food production generates one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, more than 1 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year, while diets in many parts of the world are driving demand for more resource-intensive foods.

25%

of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture

1/3

of all food produced is lost or wasted

1/2

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

Our Approach

WRI develops analyses, partnerships and strategies to secure a sustainable food future.

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

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

  • Champions 12.3 SDG

    Champions 12.3

    Inspiring ambition and mobilizing action to reduce food loss and waste globally.

    Part of Food
  • Climate-friendly meal on green background

    Cool Food

    Cool Food helps people and organizations reduce the climate impact of their food through shifting toward more plant-rich diets. 

    Part of Food
  • food waste

    Food Waste Atlas

    The Food Waste Atlas tracks global food waste, allowing governments and companies to understand how food loss and waste is occurring and help create a sustainable food system. 

    Part of Food
  • ar food background.jpg

    Climate-Friendly Diets

    Shifting meat-centric diets toward less resource-intensive foods like vegetables, fruit and legumes to help meet global climate goals.

    Part of Food
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