Agriculture and land use are major sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but previous estimates were either highly aggregate or provided spatial details for subsectors obtained via different methodologies. Using a model–data integration approach that ensures full consistency between subsectors, we provide spatially explicit estimates of production- and consumption-based GHG emissions worldwide from plant- and animal-based human food in circa 2010. Global GHG emissions from the production of food were found to be 17,318 ± 1,675 TgCO2eq yr−1, of which 57% corresponds to the production of animal-based food (including livestock feed), 29% to plant-based foods and 14% to other utilizations. Farmland management and land-use change represented major shares of total emissions (38% and 29%, respectively), whereas rice and beef were the largest contributing plant- and animal-based commodities (12% and 25%, respectively), and South and Southeast Asia and South America were the largest emitters of production-based GHGs.
Xu, X., Sharma, P., Shu, S., Lin, T. S., Ciais, P., Tubiello, F. N., … Jain, A. K. (2021). Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods. Nature Food, 2(9), 724–732. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-021-00358-x