Food systems emissions in Colombia and their reduction potential: A country profile

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    CGIAR Initiative on Low-Emission Food Systems
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The global food system accounts for 23 – 42% of total net anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This share is expected to increase. Therefore, rapid and effective transformations are required in food systems to achieve the Paris Agreement targets. The Low-Emissions Food Systems (Mitigate+) Initiative aims to offer a comprehensive and evidence-based view of national land use, agricultural production, diet, and food system emissions in various countries (China, Colombia, Kenya and Viet Nam) and explore possible pathways that reduce emissions while enhancing food security, nutrition, livelihoods and preserving the environment. This document focuses on Colombia.

Colombia ́s food system emissions remained stable in absolute level over the past decade (2010-2020) at around 183 MtCO2 eq. Although the relative importance of these food system emissions decreased since 2010 in line with the broader economic development, in 2020 they still represented two thirds (62%) of total national emissions. The largest sources of emission in Colombia’s food system are net forest conversion (45% of total emissions), enteric fermentation (26%), manure management in the broad sense (9%), and food waste disposal (6%). Altogether, these four categories account for 86% of all food system emissions.

This document highlights various priorities for action based on size of the emissions but also viability of the mitigation action: (i) decrease deforestation; (ii) support sustainable cattle farming; and (iii) minimize food loss and waste, while enhancing energy and resource efficiency across food value chains. It also highlights the need for future data collection.

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