Transforming global food systems under climate change: Achieving zero emissions

  • Date
  • Location
    The Ceremonial Hall (Festsalen), University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

On 25 February 2020, key food systems and climate change stakeholders will come together to discuss solutions that could make our food systems climate-friendly.

There has been a growing call among key food systems and climate change stakeholders for transformative changes in the way we produce and consume food. This event will focus on three solutions for making our food systems more climate-friendly, drawn from a report by a Panel of Experts to be released in early 2020:

  1. Driving progressive change through collaboration between industry and social movements: facts, youth and networking
  2. Towards healthy and sustainable climate-friendly diets: current shifts and likely future scenarios
  3. Reducing food loss and waste


If we are to limit global temperatures to not more than 2°warmer than pre-industrial levels, then the agriculture and food sector will have to contribute to significant emissions reductions, even though climate change is only one challenge among many for the food system, including global food insecurity, poor nutrition and health outcomes, over-use of water, etc.

Major organizations around the world are making commitments to reduce emissions in the food supply chains. In Denmark, both the Danish Agriculture & Food Council and Danish Crown have pledged to become climate neutral by 2050. At the same time, social youth movements like Fridays for Future are gaining momentum and influencing policy makers to a larger and larger extent. The new Danish government has committed to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 70% by 2030 compared to 1990.


The event will break fresh ground by establishing new important links between the agricultural sector and youth movements, to discuss how current commitments to reduce emissions can be achieved, and how these commitments can be scaled up throughout the food supply chain. Given that the challenges are very different between high- and low-income countries, the seminar will try to provide a nuanced perspective.

Many have proposed that food consumption and food waste patterns will need to change. The event will review how diets and behaviors are changing by highlighting exciting examples, including the role of social movements in such changes, and how further change can be fostered.

This event will bring together leading figures in the food system—farmers, consumers, policy makers, researchers, activists and more—in order to attempt to reach consensus on some of the priority solutions, and stimulate greater ambition for a climate-friendly world, as well as greater collaboration between food producers and consumers.

Proposed agenda and speakers




Chair: Ana Maria Loboguerrero, Head of Global Policy Research, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)


Registrations and coffee


Opening by Chair


Welcoming remarks: The challenge Henrik C. Wegener, Rector, University of Copenhagen


Scene-setting: Challenges and opportunities for reducing emissions in the food system Andrew Campbell, CEO, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)


Rising to the challenge: An industry committing Anne Lawaetz Arhnung, CEO, Danish Agriculture & Food Council


Panel discussion: Role of social movements and consumers in fostering change in the food system Hege Skarrud, President, Spire, Norway

Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba, Senior Program Manager, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Ben Reynolds, Deputy Chief Executive, Sustain, UK


Chair: Katrine Krogh Andersen, Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen


Setting the scene: Reducing food loss and waste H.R.H. Princess Marie of Denmark (TBC)


Reducing emissions in value chains Jais Valeur, CEO, Danish Crown


Making change happen Selina Juul, Founder, Stop Wasting Food


Social movements and our food system Sophie Healy-Thow, Lead Group Member, Scaling up Nutrition (SUN), Ireland


Audience participation


Coffee break


Panel – Rising to the Challenge: Actions to Reduce Emissions in Food Systems
Welcome to Panel Members and setting the challenge: “Reducing emissions in food system: what is needed and what is the way forward.” TBC
Tackling climate change TBC
Panel discussion
Moderator: Katrine Krogh Andersen, Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen
Jannes Maes, President of the European Council of Young Farmers (TBC)

Mauricio Graber, CEO, Chr. Hansen Holding A/S

Katherine Richardson, Leader, Sustainability Science Centre, University of Copenhagen

Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (TBC)


Closing remarks


This event is co-organized by: