Five biggest supermarkets pledge to halve environmental impact of weekly food shop by 2030

The heads of five of the UK’s largest supermarkets have pledged to cut the environmental impact of a weekly grocery store in half by the end of this decade when leaders meet in Glasgow for a major climate change summit.

Directors of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Co-op and M&S said they would work with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to reduce natural destruction.

Under a pledge, they will cut global warming from shopping baskets, the forests that are cut down to fill the baskets, the impact of agriculture and baskets of seafood, and the food waste and packaging they produce.

Every year the supermarkets, which together reach more than half of UK grocery shoppers, will submit data on each of these areas to WWF and publish their actions.

The stores also promised that before the end of next year they would set science-based targets to keep global warming below 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial temperatures.

The targets will include all categories of emissions – so-called scopes.

“As CEOs of leading UK food retailers, we know that a future without nature is a future without food. We have to stop the loss of nature by 2030 ”, the supermarkets agreed in a joint statement.

WWF chief Tanya Steele said it was impossible to fight climate change and keep global warming below 1.5 ° C without worrying about global food supplies.

“Food production is one of the greatest threats to our planet and we will only address the climate and natural emergency if food retailers do their part,” she added.

“The promises these CEOs have made are groundbreaking and we hope that other grocers will follow in their footsteps so every shopper can be sure that the products they buy are not fueling the climate crisis and bringing valuable wildlife closer to them Push the edge. “

The food sector is responsible for more than 30 percent of all climate emissions and 60 percent of the world’s lost nature. Therefore, reducing its impact can be an important step in combating climate change.

It emits 17.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year, about 19 times more than commercial aircraft.

Independently of this, 20 new governments have joined the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) dialogue forum, which obliges them to open talks.

FACT members will discuss trade and market development, research and improvement in agriculture, and support for smallholders.

Members include Indonesia and Brazil, which have some of the largest forests in the world.

This includes large consumer countries like the UK, whose demand often causes deforestation elsewhere.

Together, the group represents 75 percent of world trade in important forest-threatening raw materials such as palm oil, cocoa and soy.

But the signing only obliges them to “wish for an open dialogue” and the actions are “not exhaustive, non-binding and do not apply under all circumstances to all countries”.

Justin Adams, executive director of the Tropical Forest Alliance, said the dialogue group had “added momentum”.

“Bringing these governments – from the south and north of the world – together to directly address the problem of resource production and deforestation is a very important development,” he said.

“The continued dialogue after Cop26 will be critical to progress.”

Matt Williams, an expert with the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: “So far, food and agriculture have been largely absent from this summit and are missing in many countries’ climate plans for 2030.

“This deal sows the seeds for food and agriculture, which are considered a serious part of the path to net zero emissions.”

Another 27 countries have also made a commitment to sustainable agriculture to help them meet the climate goals and will redirect some agricultural subsidies towards the climate goals.

In parallel with the Glasgow Cop26 conference, the UK announced £ 500 million in a program the government said would help protect more than five million hectares of rainforest from deforestation, an area almost two and a half times the size is like size of Wales.

Anna Jones of Greenpeace UK said: “Efforts to address supply chains are little more than talking shop about the terms of trade in agricultural commodities.

“And there is nothing wrong with reducing the demand for products such as meat and dairy products that drive deforestation.”

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