What we eat and how we produce our food are inextricably linked to the climate crisis.
Science makes it clear that to avert the worst impacts of climate change, we must address the greenhouse gas emissions from the food and agriculture sectors. This includes wasting less food, phasing out agricultural chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers, reducing meat consumption from confined factory farms, and capturing and storing carbon in soils. With so many crises unfolding on our planet—pandemics, loss of biodiversity, hunger, and poverty—the food and agriculture sectors must transition toward regenerative systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build soil health, protect public and environmental health, grow more nutritious food, and increase equity and resilience.
Farmers and agricultural communities are on the frontlines of climate change. They are among the first to feel the economic and health impacts of hotter temperatures as well as more frequent and intense droughts and precipitation. At the same time, the predominant use of industrial farming practices like tillage, monocropping, fallowing, toxic chemical use, and intensive livestock operations contribute to the climate crisis. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 10 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture.
Thankfully, changing farming practices, shifting away from a meat-intensive diet, and reducing waste along the food chain can help reduce the climate impact of our food system. NRDC and our partners across the food and agricultural sectors advocate for policies that will create a more regenerative food system—one that can provide better food security for all communities; protect farmworkers; empower farmers and rural communities; and fight the climate crisis.
What We're Doing
In contrast to conventional agriculture, organic agriculture holds significant and largely untapped potential to address multiple crises facing our society, including climate change, health, and economic struggles.
Farming in harmony with nature fights climate change, improves water quality, and protects biodiversity. NRDC works with growers, ranchers, and community leaders to craft policies for a regenerative farm and food system.
A resource that is right beneath our feet can help us fight climate change, while cleaning up our water, increasing biodiversity, and creating healthy food in the process.
More plants and less red meat for healthier people and planet.
The certified “organic” label provides the best assurance we have today that our food was produced without dangerous synthetic pesticides.
What we eat plays a big role in the fight against climate change. Eating more plants and wasting less good food are vital places to start.
The most common and effective strategy for farmers adapting to climate change is improving soil health.
Everyone, from governments and large food companies to ordinary people, has the power to make a difference in the fight against climate change by changing the way we grow our food and changing what we eat.
As long droughts become more and more common, we're pushing farmers to embrace sustainable practices that increase soil health and use water more efficiently.
The IPCC lands report makes clear that the food system is a significant driver of climate change, but that it can also be a vital part of the solution.
This is how we can help California farms and ranches be part of a drought mitigation strategy.
As higher temperatures head north, the Great Plains’ grasslands are in for a transformation.
Carbon farming, an agricultural movement taking root in Northern California, aims to improve the soil and help stabilize the climate.
Growing, processing, transporting, and disposing our uneaten food in the United States has an annual estimated cost of $218 billion, costing a household of four an average of $1,800 annually.
What You Can Do
Composting Is Way Easier Than You Think
With minimal effort, you can turn those banana peels and apple cores into gold. Let us break it down.