How Eating Less Meat Could Help Protect the Planet From Climate Change

  • How Eating Less Meat Could Help Protect the Planet From Climate Change

How Eating Less Meat Could Help Protect the Planet From Climate Change

According to the Guardian, a leaked draft of the report - which is now being debated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva - outlines the importance of a change in food production and land use in battling the climate crisis.

"The warning deserves serious attention of the world community and corrective measures need be initiated in all earnestness", it added. Though other global bodies too made similar observation in the past, the IPCC's findings assume significance as its report is authored by 107 leading scientists from 52 countries after assessing over 7,000 papers on various aspects of climate change and its triggering factors. The special report said the high consumption of animal products is contributing to warming temperatures. This soil degradation has a direct impact on the amount of carbon the earth is able to contain. "But, as this latest leaked report of the IPCC's work reveals, it is going to be very hard to achieve the cuts we need to make to prevent that happening".

It also says over a quarter of the food produced is either lost or wasted.

According to the IPCC, more sustainable food habits could free up millions of square kilometres of land per year, resulting in a reduction of up to 8 gigatonnes of equivalent of Carbon dioxide by 2050. "Food security will be increasingly affected by future climate change through yield declines - especially in the tropics - increased prices, reduced nutrient quality, and supply chain disruptions", said Priyadarshi Shukla, another co-chair of the IPCC working group, from India.

The nutritional value of food could fall.

At 2 degrees Celsius of warming, the threat of a food crisis multiplies; even at 1.5 degrees C, wildfires are a grave threat. "But it would indeed be beneficial, for both climate and human health, if people in many rich countries consumed less meat, and if politics would create appropriate incentives to that effect". "Solutions to these potential problems require intersectoral and concerted worldwide action". More than a third (37%) of the world's land is used as pasture for livestock, while 22% used for plantation and timber forests.

That diet, The Lancet study found, could feed a world of 10 billion people in 2050 - but only barely. Farmers need to find new productive ways to farm food and diversify their crops.

Climate-change scientists meeting in Geneva released a report Thursday that locks on to one of metro Atlanta's popular social action programs as a way to stem global warming - rescuing food that's destined for the landfill and getting it on someone's table.

"A new and healthy balance for all is needed, for people and for planet".

Climate change isn't just making many of these places more unpleasant - they are becoming unlivable.

"We are suggesting a more balanced diet that has roughly 100 grammes per person per week of red meat - a single serving once a week rather than ever day", co-author Johan Rockstrom, former director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impacts, told AFP.