To reduce global warming, people need to eat less meat: UN report
Global meat consumption must fall to curb global warming, reduce growing strains on land and water and improve food security, health and biodiversity, a United Nations report on the effects of climate change concluded.
Although the report stopped short of explicitly advocating going meat free, it called for big changes to farming and eating habits to limit the impact of population growth and changing consumption patterns on stretched land and water resources.
Plant-based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food could free up several million square kilometres of land by 2050 and cut 0.7-8.0 gigatonnes a year of carbon dioxide equivalent, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said.
“There are certain kinds of diets that have a lower carbon footprint and put less pressure on land,” Jim Skea, professor at London’s Imperial College, said on Thursday.
The IPCC met this week in Geneva, Switzerland to finalize its report which should help to guide governments meeting this year in Chile on ways to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“The IPCC does not recommend people’s diets … Dietary choices are very often shaped or influenced by local production practices and cultural habits,” Skea, who is one of the report’s authors, told reporters in Geneva. (National Post)