During this past week’s North American Leaders Summit (NALS), President Biden joined with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada to announce new initiatives in support of a common vision for North America’s continued growth, prosperity, and economic competitiveness.
Importantly, food waste reduction was one of only six climate-focused commitments that came out of the NALS. With the other commitments focused on electric vehicles, ocean conservation, and other better-known decarbonization strategies, it shows that food waste reduction has been elevated in the global conversation as to how to achieve rapid climate impacts, as governments, businesses, funders, and more recognize just how powerful a lever it can be.
The specific commitment is “Developing a Food Loss and Waste Reduction Action Plan by the end of 2025 outlining efforts to cut food loss and waste in half by 2030.”
Additionally, the three leaders made a commitment to reduce methane, which is also highly relevant for food loss and waste reduction, as food waste is a major driver of methane emissions – and reducing the amount of food waste decomposing in landfills now can reduce atmospheric GHG concentrations with effects that will be felt in just a decade or two – which is critical for limiting warming by 2050. The leaders addressed methane by “Committing to reduce methane emissions from the solid waste and wastewater sector by at least 15% by 2030 from 2020 levels and deepen collaboration on waste and agriculture methane measurement and mitigation, including achieving the Global Methane Pledge through trilateral cooperation on methane and black carbon emissions.”
Cooperation between countries is critical to achieving climate goals, and we’re looking forward to seeing true progress on the food waste front.
Read the US Food Loss and Waste Policy Action Plan – developed by Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic, NRDC, WWF, and ReFED and supported by dozens of businesses and jurisdictions – here.
Read the White House fact sheet on all of the deliverables from the NALS here.