Study shows that dependence on fossil fuels also affects food production

20 November 2023

Food systems account for 15% of global fossil fuel consumption, which is why a new study has raised the alarm about the dependence on petrochemicals in food production. The study shows that to reach the goal of zero net emissions by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F), we urgently need to move away from fossil fuels in our food systems.

Instances of petrochemical dependence are the plastics that are used in packaging, but also manufacturing processes for the production of crop inputs including pesticides and fertilisers.

The research examines the relationship between the energy and food systems, highlighting the function of fossil fuels. The study explores the opportunities, gaps, trade-offs, and synergies that exist within this nexus. It draws attention to ways that advocates, donors, and policymakers working across the food-energy nexus may better collaborate to minimize the use of fossil fuels in food systems.

The purpose of these resources is to promote cooperation between the food and energy industries. Their goal is to facilitate the rapid shift in our industrialized food system’s energy sources from fossil fuels to renewable sources, as well as regenerative and agroecological farming.