Food waste ‘frozen out’ of Cop26 despite carbon footprint

Wasted food is “largely ignored” at the Cop26 climate summit despite the massive environmental cost of food production, a charity has said.

FareShare claimed on the conference’s final day that the issue has been “effectively frozen out of talks”.

New data from the Carbon Trust showed that 1.6 tonnes of CO2 is used “in vain” for every tonne of food thrown away.

“If food waste were a country it would be the third largest emitter of carbon globally, yet the issue has been largely ignored in climate discussions,” FareShare said.

READ MORE: Asda unveils first Scottish refill store ahead of COP26

Around two million tonnes of edible food is thought to be thrown away on British farms every year, which head of engagement James Persad called “heart-breaking”.

He continued: “While it’s still cheaper for farmers to send that food to… animal feed or landfill than to charities, that will continue to be the case.

“We’re calling on government to take this issue seriously and commit to fair funding to enable food businesses do the right thing, morally and environmentally, with their surplus food.”

“Meaningful action on food waste will be crucial if we are to achieve Net Zero.”

Earlier this week, an Aberystwyth University academic at Cop26 called on supermarkets to report and reduce their food waste.

Dr Siobhan Maderson argued there were “inefficiencies throughout the food system” because of “highly restrictive” contracts between suppliers and retailers.

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