Manchester’s emissions from food

Emissions from the production, distribution, consumption and waste of the food eaten in Manchester are estimated at 3.35 m tonnes.

But wait a minute, isn’t this figure more than the total claimed for all Manchester’s emissions (3.2m)?   The answer is that most of these emissions occur outside the city, just as our much of our other consumption emissions do (it’s hard to even buy a bike that hasn’t been made in Taiwan).  So a total footprint approach would correct the discrepacy (just as it would force consideration of the aviation emissions).   The point is that a focus on food, with local food production as a key element, would offer much of the 1.1m tones that the city council intends to save.

Overall agriculture around the world is responsible for nearly as much total greenhouse gas emissions as all forms of transportation.  And if distribution, preparation, consumption, flatulence and waste were also included, the figure would be even greater.

How did we arrive at the figure for Manchester?   Greenhouse gas emissions from London’s food system are  19m tones p.a.
London’s economy is approx 20% of national economy
Manchester’s is approx 3.5% of national economy

Therefore food based emissions from Manchester = 3.35 m tonnes

If you can fault this logic, then let us know.


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