A watching brief on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

This ‘Food Loss and Waste: From Commitments to Action’ watching brief – and WRAP's Circular Economy: From Commitments to Action watching brief – follow our Seven Steps Towards Net Zero report, which outlines seven practical strategies that G7 countries can adopt to reduce consumption-based emissions.

The global food system is the greatest cause of biodiversity loss, a major source of freshwater pollution, and the second biggest driver of climate change after energy generation. It contributes up to 37% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and yet we waste around a third of the food that is produced worldwide – while over 800 million people go hungry. 

Reducing food loss and waste could cut global GHG emissions by 2.1 billion tonnes CO2e per year; equivalent to taking 450 million cars off the road for a year. With food loss and waste costing the global economy an estimated $936 billion per annum, and society $12 trillion overall, reducing it also makes economic sense. 

However, only 21 countries – representing 21.1% of the world’s population – have so far committed to reducing food loss and/or waste directly within their NDCs. This means that 89% of countries have not yet committed to reducing either.

WRAP is calling on all governments to commit to delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 of reducing food loss and halving food waste, and to include this within their NDCs with ambitious – but realistic – goals and measurable targets.

“We cannot achieve net zero emissions without tackling food loss and waste.”

Richard Swannell Interim CEO WRAP

Combatting food waste in China

China is one of just nine countries to have committed to food waste reduction within their NDC. The IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has been facilitating the combatting of food waste in China since 2014.

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