The Blue Green Blog

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If one in five people in richer countries adopted a near-vegan diet and threw away a third less food than they currently do, while poorer countries were assisted to preserve their forests and restore degraded land, the world’s agricultural systems could be absorbing carbon dioxide by 2050 instead of adding massively to global heating as they do today.

Better farming practices would be required overall, including more tree planting and improving the fertility of soil, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The agricultural changes would also allow for healthier diets globally, improve livelihoods in poor areas, preserve wildlife and flora, and improve water and air quality.

Land accounts for about 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, or 11 gigatons of carbon dioxide a year. With the right measures, according to the study, it would act instead as a carbon sink absorbing 3 gigatons from the atmosphere a year by 2050.