Report presented at Davos says plant-based meat a key to rapid decarbonisation
Plant-based meat is one of three “super-leverage points” that could help the world to rapidly decarbonise, a report presented this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland states. Consequently, the report recommends public procurement of plant-based food by governments, schools and hospitals.
“We really welcome this high level recognition of the role that plant-based food plays in preventing ecosystem collapse,” Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International, said.
“Governments must now respond and immediately encourage policies that allow for the public procurement of plant-based foods in schools, hospitals and other institutional settings. Further, they must look to invest more in research and development of plant-based proteins,” she said.
ProVeg is already shaping menus in schools across the UK, Germany and Poland. Hundreds of thousands of pupils benefit from plant-based menu options, which have also helped schools with their sustainability goals. The children are very supportive of the new delicious dishes on their school menus, as they are typically much more aware of the impacts of climate change and environmental topics than older generations.
The report describes a leverage point as a small intervention that can cause a large effect. “Super-leverage points” not only cut emissions in one key sector, but also support faster changes in other parts of the economy.
Written by consultancy Systemiq and the University of Exeter, the report states that helping alternative proteins to beat animal protein on cost, and match them on taste, can reduce emissions from the animal agriculture sector, which is responsible for up to a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reduce deforestation.
The report estimates that a 20% market share by 2035 for plant-based proteins would free up the equivalent of up to 15% of global farmland no longer needed for livestock and animal feed that could be used to restore nature and remove further CO2 from the atmosphere.
The other two super-leverage points are: mandates for the sale of electric vehicles, and mandates requiring “green ammonia” to be used in the manufacturing of agricultural fertilisers.
“High-emitting sectors of the economy do not exist in isolation – they are deeply interconnected, and zero-emission solutions can influence transitions in multiple sectors simultaneously,” said Simon Sharpe, a lead author of the report.
Notes to Editors
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About ProVeg International
ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.
ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.
ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award. ProVeg also has Observer Status at the IPCC.
About the ProVeg UK School Plates Programme
ProVeg UK runs the School Plates initiative which works with local authorities, schools, and private caterers, offering a range of menu support services, including menu consultation and advice, new recipes and recipe development, and impact assessment. As ProVeg UK is a non-profit organisation, the programme provides all of these services completely free of charge. Also on offer are Plant-based Cooking in Schools Workshops, for which ProVeg simply asks that costs are covered.