Getting Fossil Fuels Out of Food — Global Alliance for the Future of Food

Published on:

November 28, 2023

A call to “break the link” between the global food system and fossil fuels.

The Global Alliance for the Future of Food has released two companion pieces that serve as a call to action and resource for stakeholders to address the food-energy nexus, which is the acknowledgement of the interdependence between the global food system and fossil fuels.

The role of fossil fuels as a primary driver of climate change has long been understood and accepted as incontrovertible. However, only very recently has the relationship between fossil fuels and the global food system been thoroughly examined. The global food system accounts for 15% of all fossil fuel use, leading to over one-third of emissions. These findings reveal our food systems as a significant driver of climate change. A failure to address this relationship will jeopardize our ability to achieve global reduction in emissions from the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The report, Power Shift: Why we need to wean industrial food systems off fossil fuels outlines the adverse effects of overdependence on fossil fuels in feeding our world, especially as it relates to smallholder farmers, their communities, and the world’s populations most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The accompanying discussion paper, Toward Fossil Fuel–Free Food: Why collaboration between food & energy systems players is key to achieving 1.5 degrees, explores in depth how increased collaboration between the food and energy sectors will be essential to achieving this outcome.

This report and discussion guide is aimed at all actors across both the food and energy sectors; to date, there has been limited cooperation or communication between these two groups, which must change to ensure the solutions enacted are sustainable and beneficial for all. Their proposed solutions call for the wide-scale introduction of regenerative and agroecological practices to make food systems less energy-intensive, thereby achieving the climate goals.

These interlocking publications can function as a foundational resource in breaking the link between global food systems and fossil fuels.

Read the report