ClimateWorks & CLUA – Food Production & Consumption Project

behavioral approaches to system reform towards climate-friendly food production & consumption

Achieving the deep decarbonization required to meet the goals of The Paris Agreement requires significant shifts in behavior related to the global food system, which, due to many behavioral and systemic drivers, emits large amounts of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and continues to limit the planet’s capacity to absorb and sequester carbon. 

As desperately as a change is needed in the way protein is produced and consumed, the dense, complex nature of this system, with actors ranging from farms to governments to supermarkets to consumers, as well as the economic, political, legal, and social factors that drive each actor’s decision, can make this change a daunting prospect. However, we believe that with behavior science and systems thinking, this change is possible.

A systems approach is comprehensive in how we approach change; a behavioral approach leverages behavioral science evidence to enact it. Used together, these approaches are powerful tools for systematically 1) identifying the actors, behaviors, and structures that have a disproportionate impact on the outcome we are seeking to change, 2) diagnosing their causes, and 3) identifying and designing their solutions.

Root Solutions, along with RARE, teamed up with Climateworks Foundation, and Climate and Land Use Alliance to strategize on the crucial role behavioral science and systems thinking have in shifting protein consumption and achieving a food system for a livable climate. This project informed the multiyear strategies of CLUA, ClimateWorks, and their partners within climate philanthropy.

The Climate and Land Use Alliance is a collaborative of foundations that believe forests and sustainable land use are an essential part of the global response to climate change. By bringing together resources and diverse expertise, the Alliance seeks to support viable solutions and mobilize greater funding to conserve and restore forests and more sustainably use land.

ClimateWorks is a global platform comprised of researchers, strategists, collaborators, and grantmakers that works to equip organizations with the knowledge, networks, and solutions to drive climate progress for a more sustainable and equitable future. ClimateWorks mission is to end the climate crisis by amplifying the power of philanthropy.