A third (1.3 billion tons) of all the food produced is wasted.
It accounts for a tenth of the greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming, in particular, methane, which is about 80 times more potent than CO2.
That so few countries have so far committed to reducing food waste in national climate targets is symbolic of a lack of "political will," said Danielle Nierenberg, co-founder of Food Tank, a US-based NGO devoted to sustainable food systems. This is despite the fact it is "low-hanging fruit" when it comes to cutting national emissions.
One major cause of food loss in developing countries is poor preservation due to lack of cold storage for agricultural produce.
Inadequate refrigeration and an ineffective "cold chain" resulted in the loss of around 526 million tons of food production — or 12% of the food produced globally — in 2017, according to a UNEP and FAO report released this week at COP27.
This is enough extra food to feed around one billion people.
Some 811 million people currently face hunger globally.
Food waste has actually increased since 2015 in countries like the US, Australia and New Zealand, which already waste the most.