Global food system emissions could preclude achieving the 1.5° and 2°C climate change targets

Michael Clark, Nina G Domingo, Kimberly K Colgan, Sumil Thakrar, David Tilman, John Lynch, Ines M.L. Azevedo, Jason D Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

526 Scopus citations


The Paris Agreement's goal of limiting the increase in global temperature to 1.5° or 2°C above preindustrial levels requires rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Although reducing emissions from fossil fuels is essential for meeting this goal, other sources of emissions may also preclude its attainment. We show that even if fossil fuel emissions were immediately halted, current trends in global food systems would prevent the achievement of the 1.5°C target and, by the end of the century, threaten the achievement of the 2°C target. Meeting the 1.5°C target requires rapid and ambitious changes to food systems as well as to all nonfood sectors. The 2°C target could be achieved with less-ambitious changes to food systems, but only if fossil fuel and other nonfood emissions are eliminated soon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-708
Number of pages4
Issue number6517
StatePublished - Nov 6 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Global food system emissions could preclude achieving the 1.5° and 2°C climate change targets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this