This report lays out a Global Action Agenda to reduce food loss and waste and achieve SDG Target 12.3 – action that can contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement on climate change and sustainably feeding the planet by 2050.
Sustainable Development Goal 2
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
In 2017, an estimated 821 million people were undernourished, up from 784 million in 2015. The following year, climate disasters forced an additional 29 million into acute food insecurity. Solutions to end hunger must address not only immediate needs, but also future food needs as the global population, now at 7 billion, soars to an estimated 9.7 billion people by 2050.
WRI’s Food Program conducts research and catalyzes action to help the world feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050 in a manner that advances economic development and food security while reducing the food system’s pressure on the environment, especially its climate impacts.
Published by WRI in collaboration with the World Bank, UNEP and UNDP, the landmark World Resources Report (WRR) “Creating a Sustainable Food Future” proposes a menu of solutions to sustainably feed the planet. Among them are boosting farmers’ yields (including smallholder farmers) on their existing agricultural lands (Target 2.3), increasing investment in orphan crops that would improve nutrition in Africa and Asia (Target 2.2), and improving access to resources (capacity, finance, secure tenure) to help farmers and fishers improve productivity (Target 2.3).
Combined, the menu of solutions would help the agricultural sector reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least two-thirds from current levels and avoid further conversion of natural ecosystems (Target 2.4). And it would help farm communities become more resilient to climate change (Target 2.4).
WRI is also catalyzing action on reducing food loss and waste, a major strategy for ending hunger (Target 2.1). WRI coordinates the Food Loss and Waste Protocol, which has emerged as the global standard, and convened Champions 12.3, a global coalition of public and private sector leaders championing action. Examples include a commitment by the world’s largest rice producers to halve on-farm and near-farm rice losses by 2030, $1 billion in World Bank bonds dedicated to food loss and waste, a “FLW Solutions Accelerator” that connects financing with young entrepreneurs offering food loss and waste technology solutions in Africa and Asia, and efforts by some of the world’s largest food companies to support their suppliers in reducing near farm food losses.
Nearly a third of all food produced in the world goes uneaten each year, costing the global economy $940 billion and emitting 8% of planet-warming greenhouse gases. We can't afford for that to go on.
By 2050, nearly 10 billion people will live on the planet. Can we produce enough food sustainably? World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future shows that it is possible – but there is no silver bullet. This report offers a five-course menu of solutions to ensure we can feed everyone without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation or exacerbating poverty. Intensive research and modeling examining the nexus of the food system, economic development, and the environment show why each of the 22 items on the menu is important and quantifies how far each solution can get us.
How can the world feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050 while also advancing economic development, protecting forests and stabilizing the climate? Technological innovations like plant-based "beef" and low-emissions rice can help.
There is a strong and compelling environment and development case to be made for securing indigenous and community lands. Securing collective land rights offers a low-cost, high-reward investment for developing country governments and their partners to meet national development objectives and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Securing community lands is also a cost-effective climate mitigation measure for countries when compared to other carbon capture and storage approaches.