UK food-related greenhouse gas emissions have substantially decreased over the last two decades in response to changes in the household food baskets. The evolution of diets depends on a combination of driving forces, not necessarily acting in the same direction. We propose a decomposition of household food choices which separates changes in tastes and consumer preferences from the effects of prices, household budgets, and socio-demographic trends. More specifically, we explore to what extent these drivers facilitate or hinder the adoption of sustainable food choices. Our decomposition strategy is grounded on a theory-consistent demand system to account for substitution effects across food groups. We find that the decline in UK food-related emissions is primarily driven by reductions in household food budgets and evolving food preferences. Relative price dynamics and de-mographic trends act in the opposite direction, but their effect is small. Our evidence suggests that policy in-terventions aiming to shape consumer preferences towards more sustainable choices could be a valid instrument to further reduce food-related emissions in the UK.

Demand drivers and changes in food-related emissions in the UK: A decomposition approach

Beatrice Biondi;Mario Mazzocchi
2021

Abstract

UK food-related greenhouse gas emissions have substantially decreased over the last two decades in response to changes in the household food baskets. The evolution of diets depends on a combination of driving forces, not necessarily acting in the same direction. We propose a decomposition of household food choices which separates changes in tastes and consumer preferences from the effects of prices, household budgets, and socio-demographic trends. More specifically, we explore to what extent these drivers facilitate or hinder the adoption of sustainable food choices. Our decomposition strategy is grounded on a theory-consistent demand system to account for substitution effects across food groups. We find that the decline in UK food-related emissions is primarily driven by reductions in household food budgets and evolving food preferences. Relative price dynamics and de-mographic trends act in the opposite direction, but their effect is small. Our evidence suggests that policy in-terventions aiming to shape consumer preferences towards more sustainable choices could be a valid instrument to further reduce food-related emissions in the UK.
Beatrice Biondi, Concetta Castiglione, Mario Mazzocchi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/821946
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