Agricultural restructuring for reducing carbon emissions from residents' dietary consumption in China

Ziyue Yu, Sijian Jiang, Ali Cheshmehzangi, Yu Liu, Xiangzheng Deng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In an effort to contribute to climate change mitigation, China has committed to achieving its peak carbon by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. However, reaching these goals will require a massive reduction in carbon emissions. The humans have to consume food to meet their survival needs. Furthermore, the society's demand for food is consistent with the development level of agricultural structures. At present, reducing environmental costs associated with food to adjust the agricultural structure has not received sufficient scientific attention. Because of this, the present study combines food consumption, climate change, and agricultural structure to design future scenarios based on the widely used SSP storyline. Moreover, in order for China to reach its carbon peak in 2030, this study applies a life-cycle approach to uncover the potential carbon reduction of Chinese residents under different dietary structures. From a demand perspective, this study puts forward recommendations for dietary restructuring and guides the direction of future agricultural restructuring in China. It also shows that a diet structure that replaces red meat with plant foods such as vegetables and fruits will have a more significant carbon reduction potential. The traditional agricultural structure consumes a large amount of food and produces a significant amount of greenhouse gases. Reducing meat and high-fat foods consumption may help reduce GHG emissions produced by food consumption. In addition, reducing the proportion of food used for feeding in the agricultural structure will also help achieve peak carbon targets. The shift in diet structure will advance China's agricultural structure and promote green agriculture development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135948
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2023


  • Agricultural restructuring
  • Carbon emissions
  • Carbon peak
  • Dietary structure
  • Food system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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