Most food waste is thrown away in landfills, where it decomposes and emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Globally, it creates 3.3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, about 7 percent of the total emissions, according to the report.
The United Nations agency points out that methane gas from the world’s landfills are surpassed in emissions by only China and the United States.
“Seven percent is not the largest contributor of greenhouse gasses, but it’s not an insignificant amount,” said Helen Mountford, the director of economics at the World Resources Institute. “But this is one area — reducing food waste — where we can make a difference.”