In 2008, the Food Climate Research Network (FCRN) published a report1 which estimated that our consumption of food in the UK, from agriculture through to consumption, accounts for 19% of all the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated through the goods and services we consume. It also argued that a reduction of up to 70% should be possible if we deployed a mix of technological improvements and changes in consumption. The report recommended that government should commit to reducing emissions by this amount, by 2050, and should set out a road map for how it intends to do so, stating what proportion would be achieved through technological and managerial improvements and the reduction emissions from a change in diet.
Food as a nexus point of interconnecting practices of going about daily life. What is it about the process that govern food production and consumption that enbourage one practice of food consumption over another?
Jess paddock food_and_climate_changeFood and Climate Change - Jessica Paddock
Food and Climate Change BSA Climate Change Study Group Launch British Library 2011
Context A first key finding of the report is that a focus on one solution only will not lead to the reductions that are needed . Single measures, such as the elimination of meat and dairy products from our diet, or the decarbonisation of the supply chain, or the development of technologies to eliminate enteric methane emissions will not by themselves cut emissions by 70%. If the UK food chain is to make a proportionate contribution to the UK’s target of reducing its overall emissions by 80% by 2050 , then policy makers will need to put in place a combination of measures that change not only how we produce and consume food, but also what it is we consume. FCRN and WWF ‘How Low Can We Go’ 2009
Challenges Facing Food Production and Consumption Urban/ rural Mobility Waste Nutrition Inequality Population Carbon Bio- diversity Land Water Energy Climate Change Food
High Carbon Path Dependent Systems <ul><li>Various economic and social institutions are ‘locked in’ (Urry 2010) to carbon dependent paths. To change these involves…moving beyond individual behaviour change... to understand the pathways, of cultures of (food) consumption… </li></ul>
Rational Management and Mitigations Vs Reconciliation <ul><li>To achieve a balance between economy , ecology and society in real terms necessitates an understanding of society that sociology is well placed to champion, particularly getting to grips with… </li></ul><ul><li>… reconciling human activity (i.e. the essential act of food consumption) with ecological processes… because this demands all kinds of sociological analyses that move beyond the scientific and technological ‘fix’. </li></ul>
Sociology’s Contribution <ul><li>It is a task for sociology to understand the human dimensions of climate change, of the roles we play in building the pathways of current cultures of practice… </li></ul><ul><li>The challenges posed by climate change begs for interdisciplinary action, but the voice of sociology needs to be louder </li></ul>
My Research –Sustainable Development <ul><li>Sustainable development seeks to redress a balance between economy, ecology and society. </li></ul><ul><li>Addresses issues of reviving growth, population and human resources, food security, loss of species and genetic resources, energy, industry, human settlement and land use. </li></ul><ul><li>Key to the agenda of SD is EQUITY in the use of common pool resources (i.e. trees, land, water). An understanding of CLASS essential to any initiative that attempts to address the SD agenda. </li></ul>
Aims and Questions <ul><li>How might an understanding of social class aid a deeper comprehension of the challenges faced in our attempts to reconcile relationship between human development and depletion of natural resources and habitats ? </li></ul><ul><li>Focusing on spaces of ‘alternative’ food consumption… </li></ul><ul><li>1) To what extent does class ‘habitus’ become embroiled in consumer relationships with food? </li></ul><ul><li>2) Do conceptions of food and ‘ethics’ vary between consumers from different socio-economic backgrounds? </li></ul><ul><li>3) Are particular spaces of engagement with ‘ethical’ or ‘alternative’ consumption representative of class? </li></ul>