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Adoption of the ‘planetary health diet’ has different impacts on countries’ greenhouse gas emissions


A worldwide shift from current diets to the planetary health diet proposed by the EAT–Lancet Commission would have direct implications for agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By modelling the trajectory of food from cradle to farm gate while accounting for international trade, we estimate that agricultural GHG emissions would decrease in 101 countries as well as globally. Yet, in primarily low- and middle-income countries, agricultural GHG emissions would increase by 12–283%. Country-specific impacts of dietary transitions should be considered in climate change mitigation policy.

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Fig. 1: Country-specific change in per capita GHG emissions associated with the shift from current consumption patterns to the planetary health diet.
Fig. 2: Levels of change in per capita GHG emissions associated with the shift to the planetary health diet across the world.

Data availability

Data used in adapting the EAT–Lancet diet are provided in Supplementary Data Tables 1, 2, 6 and 7. Data used in modelling GHG emissions are provided via Mendeley Data:

Code availability

Python scripts used for modelling GHG emissions are available from M.W.B. upon reasonable request (e-mail:


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This work was supported by the Santa Barbara Foundation ( The funders had no role in preparing, reviewing or editing the manuscript.

Author information




R.D.S., M.W.B. and K.N. designed the study. B.K. conducted the analysis and produced the figures. S.d.P., S.M., M.W.B., B.K. and K.N. contributed to data interpretation. R.D.S. wrote the paper. M.W.B., S.d.P., S.M., K.N. and B.K. edited the paper.

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Correspondence to Richard D. Semba.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Table 1

Composition of the planetary health diet for an intake of 2,500 kcal d−1.

Supplementary Table 2

Adoption of the planetary health diet and per capita GHG emission in 151 countries and territories with overweight and stunting prevalence in each country.

Supplementary Data

Supplementary Data.

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Semba, R.D., de Pee, S., Kim, B. et al. Adoption of the ‘planetary health diet’ has different impacts on countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. Nat Food 1, 481–484 (2020).

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