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01.28.21

We’re Back in The Paris Climate Agreement (And What This Means for Food)

Author: Apeel Team

It was a big first day on the job for President Biden. And what was one of his first courses of action? Signing an Executive Order to bring the United States back into The Paris Agreement (White House). Under the Agreement, the United States and other countries will set national greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets to combat the looming climate crisis. These climate commitments will require hard work to achieve deep cuts in emissions and will require coordination among industry, government, and individuals. And we couldn’t be more encouraged to be back on track with this Agreement.

For the US to achieve the necessary emission cuts, there will need to be GHG reductions in the transportation, energy, industrial, and food sectors. Notably, food waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the US and the world. As in, if food waste were a country it would be the third-largest emitter (Food and Agriculture Organization). Moreover, fresh produce is among the most wasted types of food (Science Direct). 

Apeel was founded to address this exact food waste problem. Reducing waste means we can feed more people with fewer resources and carbon emissions. So, with this vision, Apeel is excited to contribute to the recommitted goals of the US and to the Paris Agreement. 

But first, let’s recap on what the objectives of this Agreement actually mean:

The Paris Agreement in 60 Seconds

The Paris Agreement is a global initiative to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. As a refresher, the Agreement aims to maintain global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels (United Nations). Scientists agree that limiting warming below those thresholds is necessary to prevent the most damaging impacts of climate change (for example, limiting sea-level rise and biodiversity loss) (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Achieving those targets means steep emissions reductions in the near term and reaching net-zero emissions by around 2050. 

The global food system is a key player in working toward the Paris Agreement’s goals. In addition to the “front page” commitments of emissions reductions, the agreement includes a few aims that complement these goals in the food system. Specifically, the Paris Agreement mentions the need to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change in a way that doesn’t threaten global food production. With this, the Agreement encourages governments to support one another by providing financial assistance, supporting capacity-building in developing countries, and developing and transferring low-carbon technologies (United Nations).

Why We Love the Agreement

At Apeel, we see the Paris Agreement as a catalyst to helping build a more sustainable and participatory food system. The Agreement envisions technological advances and global transfers to improve resilience in climate change and reduce GHGs (United Nations). It should go without saying that all of us here at Apeel are excited to contribute to that work. This alignment of our work with the aims of the Paris Agreement empowers the Apeel staff – from Field Specialist to Staff Accountant – to work towards something greater than ourselves. We see our shelf-life extension technology as one solution against the vulnerabilities of the food production systems. 

Apeel recognizes that, to achieve this Agreement, there must be collaboration and innovation embedded in policy, business objectives, and individual daily decisions. Our company celebrates being part of the global climate conversation, and when the US releases its carbon-reduction targets ahead of the 2021 COP in Glasgow, we look forward to helping achieve the objectives set by the US and globally. 

So how can we all contribute to this reinvigorated momentum to fight climate change at home? Simple. By reducing food waste in our own kitchens. According to Project Drawdown, reducing food waste from farm to fork is one of the top opportunities we have as a society to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. And what’s the easiest way for each of us to do that? Ahh, yes. The answer shouldn’t surprise you: choosing to buy Apeel produce and making sure your fruits and veggies have all the time they need to go to good use! 

You can find Apeel produce at a grocery store near you. Find one near you below!

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