Home » Global Policy Report: The Economics of the Food System Transformation

Global Policy Report: The Economics of the Food System Transformation

by Madaline Dunn

A new report from the Food System Economics Commission (FSEC), the most comprehensive economic study of its type, has found that moving to a more sustainable global food system could be transformative for both human and planet health while also unlocking benefits of up to 10 trillion USD per year.

Specifically, the report notes that the ‘Food System Transformation’ pathway could result in undernutrition being eradicated by 2050, and cumulatively 174 million lives saved from premature death due to diet-related chronic disease.

On top of these global health benefits, under the new model, food systems could become net carbon sinks by 2040, helping to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees by the end of the century.

It would also protect an additional 1.4 billion hectares of land, almost halving nitrogen surplus from agriculture, and reversing biodiversity loss.

Further, 400 million farm workers across the globe could earn a sufficient income.

Continuing under the business-as-usual avenue, comparatively, would mean that by 2050, food insecurity will leave 640 million people (including 121 million children) underweight in some parts of the world, while obesity will increase by 70 per cent globally. 

This continuation of harmful practices would also mean that food systems will continue to drive a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, which will contribute to 2.7 degrees of warming by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial periods. 

Likewise, food production, it notes, will become increasingly vulnerable to climate change, with the likelihood of extreme events dramatically increasing.

Read the full report here.

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