• Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

With what do I pay for the shopping? With climate currency

Byeditorial

Jun 3, 2021

The food we eat affects the climate and accounts for about a quarter of the global climate impact. At the same time, consumers say they have a hard time knowing which food is best for the climate and want clearer guidance. Last year, Swedish supermarket chain Felix opened the world’s first climate shop. It lasted just two days but it paved the way for a development, also technological, of the relationship between food products and consumers. In that small period, the price of food was not in Swedish kronor, but was based on its impact on the climate with carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents. The directly emitted cost in carbon dioxide emissions has made it easy for consumers to make climate smart choices right in the store. According to EU guidelines, greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030. If we change what we eat, we will be able to halve our impact on the climate. This translated, in the store, into a personal wallet that had a weekly budget of 19 kg of carbon dioxide units to shop with. All to clarify the connection between the products we eat and their impact on the climate. Apart from the Climate Store, Felix supermarkets have long since started a label that shows the climate footprint of all products. The climate footprint is measured in carbon dioxide equivalents, the measure of total greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The calculations cover the entire food chain, from raw material production to finished food, including packaging. The impact of food on the climate is calculated with the help of a state research foundation. Also because, eight out of ten Swedes find it difficult to know which food is best for the environment and the climate and, by inserting a symbol on the most respectful products “Low Climate Imprint”, we intend to identify those foods that have a climate footprint. in line with the United Nations target of a maximum 1.5 degrees of temperature rise.A group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen is also focusing on climate labeling, i.e. climate labeling capable of estimating the impact of entire life cycle of a food and its carbon footprint. This with the aim of acting on the personal conscience of consumers and producing a substantial shift in the choice of consumer products towards items with more sustainable environmental scores. Because to produce 1 kg of beef requires the emission of 34.5 kg of CO2, the impact of fruit is instead of about 0.44 kg of CO2 per kg. Which means: we should eat more than 78 kg of fruit per av have the same environmental impact as 1 kg of meat. Or alternatively, 157 apples to equal the impact of a rib eye steak. In this direction, other brands have decided to implement carbon labels to encourage more informed choices by consumers. German discounter Penny, for example, recently began showing consumers the hidden environmental cost of food along with its retail price. The initiative saw meat and dairy products at significantly higher prices, with ground beef nearly three times as expensive, while the cost of cow’s milk doubled. Recently, Upfield, the parent company of multiple plant-based creams and butters, including Flora and Becel, announced that it will show carbon footprint information on the packaging of 100 million of its products by the end of next year.

One thought on “With what do I pay for the shopping? With climate currency”
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