Food and agriculture related climate and health impacts

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Based on the assessment done in Friel S et al. 2009. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: food and agriculture. Health and Climate Series 4, The Lancet. [1]



Describe strategies that would allow the food and agricultural sector to meet the targets recommended by the UK Committee on Climate change and quantify these strategies' main effects on health.



  • UK
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil


  • Baseline = 2010
  • Future projection = 2030

Population: Adult

Policy strategies:

  • Improve efficiency of livestock farming
  • Increase carbon capture through management of land use
  • Improve manure management
  • Decrease dependence on fossil fuel inputs


For UK:

  • Strategy one: technological change
    • Includes increased efficiency, new technologies, improved farm management
    • Estimated reduction of 5 MtCO2e contribution to achieving 2020 emissions reduction target with 80% attributed to livestock
    • Expected reductions of 8 MtCO2e from 2007-2030 (emission from livestock sector to be reduced from 36 to 28 MtCO2e
  • Strategy two: technological change + reduced livestock production
    • This strategy would cover the 6 MtCO2e gap between the 28 MtCO2e from Strategy one and the target 22 MtCO2e which would meet the required reduction of emissions
    • Includes 10% growth in demand for livestock products due to population increase
    • Reduction of livestock production and consumption of foods from animal sources by 30% by 2030

Intended users



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Figure 2:Processes in the food and agriculture system that lead to greenhouse-gas emissions and population health outcomes Dotted lines indicate health outcomes that were not modelled in this study. CO2=carbon dioxide. N2O=nitrous oxide. CH4=methane.

Decision variables

  • UK technological change to reduce emissions in agriculture
  • UK technological change and reduced livestock production
  • Reduction in dietary intake of saturated fat and cholesterol from animal sources


  • Health outcomes from:
    • Dietary intake of saturated fate (DALYs, YLL, premature deaths)
    • Serum cholesterol concentrations (YLL, premature deaths)
  • Agricuture sector greenhouse gas emissions

Value variables

Other variables

  • Animal source saturated fat intake
  • Dietary chlesterol intake
  • Serum cholesterol concentrations
  • Livestock production
  • Hazard ratio for dietary intake of saturated fat and disability from ischaemic heart disease > 35 years age
  • Hazard ratio for dietary intake of saturated fat and death from ischaemic heart disease > 35 years age
  • Hazard ratio for serum cholesterol concentration and death from ischaemic heart disease
  • Stroke burden of diesease


Comparative risk assessment


  • Age and gender UK
  • Age and gender Sao Paulo




See also