World must eat less meat, UN climate change report states

 

The world’s top climate scientists have issued their latest report today on mitigating climate change and have categorically stated that a reduction in meat consumption is a vital measure to tackle the climate crisis.

Food awareness organisation, ProVeg International, wholeheartedly welcomes the report’s publication, issued by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which states that one of the biggest individual contributions to reducing emissions is to adopt a sustainable, healthy diet, which includes moderating meat and dairy intake through a plant-based diet.

“It is good to hear that the IPCC has called for dietary changes, in particular eating less meat, to reduce methane emissions. The global scientific community recognising the huge impact that animal agriculture has on the climate is the right step in the right direction,” Raphael Podselver, Head of UN Advocacy at ProVeg, said.

ProVeg campaigns under the banner “Diet Change Not Climate Change” to highlight the environmental impact of animal agriculture on the environment and has onboarded a youth delegation this year. The NGO will be taking this message together with youth climate activists to the UN’s climate change conference, COP27, in Egypt, in November 2022 when global policymakers gather to agree next steps in tackling climate change.

The recommendation on meat reduction and a move towards a more plant-based diet is celebrated by NGOs and corporations alike. During COP26 the global methane pledge was heavily criticised after it did not specify which direct actions lead to a reduction in methane emissions. As a response, a big food industry player, Upfield, published their methane emissions, showcasing that a shift to a more plant-based diet can cut your food related emissions by 50%.

Commenting on the IPCC report, Sally Smith, Upfield’s Global Director Sustainability & ESG, said: “At COP26, important discussions began on how urgently we must address methane through fossil fuels as a contributor to the climate crisis, while methane in the food and agriculture sector was hardly mentioned. Just last week, Upfield disclosed its own methane footprint to set a precedent for methane transparency in the food sector. We are pleased to join an important wider conversation through showing methane footprint transparency, and we are hopeful this will inspire policymakers and the business community to do more – and quickly.”

The global food system is responsible for about one third of global greenhouse gas emissions.1 2 3 Animal-based foods are responsible for the largest share.4 5 Research published in Nature Food journal for example finds that global gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods, and are responsible for about 20% of global emissions.6

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

For media inquiries and interviews with either ProVeg International or Upfield, contact Peter Rixon:
[email protected]

Upfield methane disclosure report – “Upfield Calls on Food Sector to Come Clean about Methane Emissions”

 

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 our planet.

ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.

 

About the IPCC report

This latest IPCC report was compiled by Working Group III (WGIII) and is the third chapter in the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Round (AR6).

The first chapter, published in August 2021, looked at the causes of climate change whilst the second chapter, published earlier this year, looked at the impacts of the climate crisis.

Set up in 1988, the IPCC provides regular, scientific analysis on how climate change is affecting peoples’ lives. The reports allow governments to make informed decisions on the latest science.

The IPCC assessments have so far made it very clear that human-induced climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying and poses a threat to the well-being of humans and all other species.

The IPCC has further warned that any further delay in concerted global action will miss a rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.

The full story on the Sixth Assessment Round will be brought together in a Synthesis Report which is expected to be issued later in 2022.

Footnotes

  1. Crippa, M., E. Solazzo, D. Guizzardi, et al. (2021): Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Nature Food 2(3), 198–209. doi:10.1038/s43016-021-00225-9
  2. Xu, X., P. Sharma, S. Shu, et al. (2021): Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods. Nature Food 2(9), 724–732. doi:10.1038/s43016-021-00358-x
  3. IPCC  (2019): Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change,desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, E. Calvo Buendia, V. Masson-Delmotte, H.- O. Pörtner, D. C. Roberts, P. Zhai,R. Slade, S. Connors, R. van Diemen, M. Ferrat, E. Haughey, S. Luz, S. Neogi, M. Pathak, J. Petzold, J. Portugal Pereira, P. Vyas, E. Huntley, K. Kissick, M. Belkacemi, J. Malley, (eds.)].
  4.  Xu, X., P. Sharma, S. Shu, et al. (2021): Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods. Nature Food 2(9), 724–732. doi:10.1038/s43016-021-00358-x
  5. Poore, J. & T. Nemecek (2018): Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science 360(6392), 987–992. doi:10.1126/science.aaq0216
  6. Xu, X., P. Sharma, S. Shu, et al. (2021): Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods. Nature Food 2(9), 724–732. doi:10.1038/s43016-021-00358-x

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