Countries from Ethiopia to India will need to increase their pollution emissions to feed their population a healthier diet-a change only feasible if wealthier nations simultaneously curb theirs, a flagship study from the United Nations on hunger said Monday.
That pollution to provide disadvantaged children with, in particular, more protein or dairy products-” overweighs the adverse consequences in certain countries arising from higher national emissions, “the study said.
But Brent Loken, the lead author of a forthcoming study on the role of the G20 in changing the food system, said global emissions can not increase as diets in developing countries change.
That means prosperous nations-from the U.S. and Britain to South Korea and Argentina-will have to scale down on carbon-intensive diets, both he and the annual UN report said.
“If we truly believe like every single person in the world has a right to nutritious food, has a right to consume enough food, this is the only way we can do it without killing the earth,” said Loken.
According to the study, the world’s food supply actually accounts for at least a fifth of planet-heating emissions.
Scientists have cautioned that failure to curb the ever-growing pollution of the planet. It could lead to emergencies from food and water shortages leading to worsening environmental hazards and rising sea levels.
Over 3 billion people worldwide-almost two in five-are unable to afford balanced diets, UN study said. This covers 18 million residents across Europe and North America, it added.
About one third of children under five are stunted in Indonesia. And one sixth of all adults are overweight or obese.
Ensuring a balanced diet-an average of 2,300 calories per person per day. Including adequate protein-will increase Indonesia’s pollution. By 15 per cent for all, the five UN agencies behind the study said.
In Malawi, where UN estimates show half people are facing extreme food shortages. A balanced diet could mean more meat and less tubers, Loken also said.
The move will raise the pollution of Malawi by 31 percent, said Loken. A scientist who is also heading global food issues research. With the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conservation organization.