Climate Change and Sustainability2021-06-03T00:34:09+01:00

Climate Change and Sustainability

Working to reduce the impacts of food and agriculture on climate change

Food and climate change are strongly linked. Food and agriculture are responsible for around a quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Our work focuses not just on how to reduce the environmental impact of food systems through alternative practices and food choices, but also how to improve food security by mitigating against the impacts of climate change on food production.

Our most recent impact

Learning in Lockdown: Using the COVID-19 crisis to teach children about food and climate change

N8 AgriFood was part of the Take A Bite Out Of Climate Change project, which exhibited at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in 2019, and demonstrated the linked between food and CO2 emissions. This initiative, led by Professor Sarah Bridle at the University of Manchester moved into its second phase, working to add food and climate change to the curriculum for school children. School outreach programmes had been planned for 2020 but couldn’t go ahead due to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, the team launched Take A Bite At Home, providing a full pack of resources for children who were being home schooled during the pandemic. A paper reflecting on the project was published in Nutrition Bulletin in February 2021.

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Food and Climate Change Without the Hot Air

Professor Sarah Bridle is N8 AgriFood’s Academic Lead at the University of Manchester. In September 2020 her book, Food and Climate Change Without the Hot Air, was published by UIT Cambridge. The book details the carbon footprint of the food we eat, breaking down the environmental impact of each food type, so readers can detect where emissions are highest and go on to make more sustainable choices. It has received high praise from academics, environmentalists and public figures, and was referenced in the House of Lords debate on the Agriculture Bill in July 2020. Following publication of her book, Professor Bridle has become an expert for the media on food and climate change, and has been interviewed and written columns for The Times, the BBC’s Follow the Food series, BBC Radio 4’s The Life Scientific, and Channel 4.

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Creating the new economy: Business models that put people and planet first

In January 2020 the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) launched a major new report Creating the New Economy: Business models that put people and planet first. It was co-authored by the N8 AgriFood Food Systems Policy Hub director Professor Bob Doherty, alongside Erinch Sahan from the WFTO, Prof. Helen Haugh from University of Cambridge and Tom Wills from Traidcraft Exchange. Based on new research, the report uncovered new insights from across the WFTO community of social enterprises. Built to make management and investment decisions to favour workers, farmers and artisans, the report finds they can work in some of the most challenging contexts, and drive ecological practices that protect our planet.

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Our Climate Change research and outputs

Various healthy foods

The Future of Food: A recipe for sustainability

Food Systems Policy Hub Director, Professor Bob Doherty, provided his expert opinion to help the Co-op explore their vision and strategy for a sustainable and ethical future. He was also one of the keynote speakers at the launch in September 2018.

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Wheat field and stormy rain clouds

POSTnote research briefing – Climate change and agriculture

This research briefing from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) was informed by contributions from N8 AgriFood academics at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester.

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Wild mushroom growing in forest

POSTnote research briefing – Sustaining the soil microbiome

N8 AgriFood academics from the Universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield contributed to this research briefing from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).

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