Yearly food waste reaches 2.5 bln tons, contributes significantly to climate change: report

A whopping 2.5 billion tons of food are wasted each year, contributing to 10 percent of all greenhouse gases released yearly in the atmosphere including CO2, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the British retailing giant Tesco said on Wednesday in a new report.

Figures of Driven to Waste, the first report of its kind since 2011, indicates that 40 percent of all food is uneaten and emits twice more greenhouse gases than all cars that are driven in Europe and North America.

Among the food wasted each year, 1.2 billion tons are lost during farming.

“We have known for years that food loss and waste is a huge problem that can be minimized,” said Pete Pearson, Global Food Loss and Waste Initiative Lead for the WWF.

“This report shows us the problem is likely bigger than we had thought.”

Other results proved to be surprising, as the report indicates that industrialized countries – among them those in Europe and North America – contribute 58 percent of all squandered food.

Lilly Da Gama, Waste Programme Manager at WWF-UK and one of the authors of the reports, urged that governments and private actors “must take action to support farmers across the world and commit to halving food waste.”

“Current policies are not ambitious enough,” she added