Climate change

Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and the transport of food make up a significant proportion of global emissions, while climate change will impact food systems through increased drought, flooding and extreme weather events.

A new study, published in Climatic Change, analyses the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the diets of meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans using the EPIC-Oxford baseline dataset.

It shows that the greenhouse gas emissions for a meat-based diet are approximately twice as high as those for vegans and about 50% higher than for vegetarians.

The study by researchers at the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and the Cancer Epidemiology Unit, both part of the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, looked at the diets of 2,041 vegans, 15,751 vegetarians, 8,123 fish-eaters and 29,589 meat-eaters aged 20-79 using a food frequency questionnaire.The greenhouse gas emissions of these diets were then estimated using a dataset of greenhouse gas emissions for 94 food commodities in the UK, with a weighting for the global warming potential of each component gas.

The authors concluded that "dietary GHG emissions in self-selected meat-eaters are approximately twice as high as those in vegans. It is likely that reductions in meat consumption would lead to reductions in dietary GHG emissions."

The study used data from EPIC-Oxford, a cohort study of 65,000 men and women living in the UK, many of whom are vegetarian, which examines how diet influences the risk of cancer.

Read the full article in Climatic Change.

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The Food Systems Research Group in the Environmental Change Institute and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food are organising a seminar series based on a number of food system levels: national, subnational, major cities and a provincial city.

The overall aim is to discuss the connections, linkages, food flows and governance arrangements at the different spatial levels. The seminars will cover a range of issues and how these issues change depending on the spatial resolution.

Time: 4.15pm

Location: Gottman Room, Oxford University Centre for the Environment

The talks will be 30-45 minutes, followed by a Q&A session and then a short wine reception. Everyone welcome.

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The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food is pleased to announce a new Exchange Fellowship Programme in collaboration with the Florida Climate Insitute for faculty members at these two universities to forge new partnerships and foster the development of innovative, interdisciplinary research projects in the area of food systems, climate and biodiversity.

We will be selecting two fellows for the academic year 2015/16 to visit the University of Florida, and two to visit Oxford.

The Fellowship will cover travel and subsistence expenses for these exchange visit up to a maximum of £5,000 per Fellowship. Applicants must be currently employed by either the University of Florida or the University of Oxford.

Application deadline: Friday 31st July, 2015

For more information and details of how to apply, please read the Florida Oxford Exchange Fellowship Details Document.

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A consortium brought together by the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food has received a major award from the Wellcome Trust as part of their 'Our Planet, Our Health' programme.

The project will look at the consequences of the global increase in the consumption of meat, dairy and other animal-sourced foods and how it affects the environment and human health.  It will focus on how to achieve changes towards more sustainable and healthy diets.

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New Report Identifies "Regret-Free" Approaches for Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change

Researchers provide clarity on action amid fears of wasted investments and imprecise science

A study called "Addressing uncertainty in adaptation planning for agriculture" has been published in PNAS by researchers from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), including Oxford researcher, Joost Vervoort.

You can read the paper in PNAS here and you can read more about the research on the CCAFS website here.

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The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food Lecture 2013 is now available to listen to on our website.

The lecture was given by Professor Susan Jebb was entitled "Food, Health And The Environment: Towards A More Sustainable Diet".

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A global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion (US).

 

The study, published today in PNAS, is the first to estimate both the health and climate change impacts of moving towards more plant-based diets for all major world regions.

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Postdoctoral Fellow, food price and food security impacts of dietary transition

Location:  London Campus, Gordon Square

Closing date for applications: 11 April 2014

£32,862 - £38,795 p.a. inclusive of London Allowance, Fixed term for 12 months

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Officer to work full time on a 12 month project funded by the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research in Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH).

The Research Officer will work on the project “Food price and food security impacts of dietary transition”.

They will be based at SOAS in London, working within the London International Development Centre in collaboration with the Food Climate Research Network (FCRN) and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

Visit the SOAS website for more information.

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The lecture that Professor James Jones gave recently on Model-Based Integrated Assessment of Food Security and AgMIP, the The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Projec

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A new publication in BMJ Open by Oxford researchers looks at the possible impact on chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, if the UK were to introduce a tax on greenhouse gas emissions on food and drink.

Read the full article in BMJ Open:

Assessing the impact on chronic disease of incorporating the societal cost of greenhouse gases into the price of food: an econometric and comparative risk assessment modelling study, Adam D M Briggs, Ariane Kehlbacher, Richard Tiffin, Tara Garnett, Mike Rayner, Peter Scarborough, BMJ Open 2013;3:e003543 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003543

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