cause of carbon emissions, GODAN
© Angelo Cordeschi

Here, Andre Laperrière, Executive Director of Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), comments on the latest UN report on meat as a cause of carbon emissions

This was regarding the impact of Western appetite on global warming and why switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change.

Laperrière said:

“The recently released report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave prominence to the Western appetite of high meat and dairy consumption as a major fuel for global warming and climate change.

“As the most authoritative report detailing how human activity is bringing detriment to the Earth’s natural resources, the call to action to cut down on meat consumption should not be taken lightly.

“While some countries depend on meat consumption as their only source of nutrition, the report clearly highlights that Western countries are excessively over-indulging, resulting in significant land degradation, the rise in levels of greenhouse gas emissions and desertification. This is directly impacting climate change as farming currently already accounts for half of human-induced methane emissions released into the earth’s atmosphere.

“There is a direct correlation between the high levels of meat production and the greenhouse emissions. A quarter of global emissions come from Food, and more than half of these emissions from the food industry comes from animal products – with beef and lamb alone accounting for 50% of these emissions. Shifting to a plant-based diet would be a significant catalyst for combating climate change.

“Changing how we farm is a key factor of the climate solution highlighted in the report. Governmental policies need to be put in place to ensure farming practices are safe guarding and restoring land, encouraging agroforestry and improving crop variants.

“Not only will better land management improve the sustainability of farming practices, but it will also provide benefits to local communities such as improving food security and combatting poverty, which are both key to achieving a countries overall economic growth.”

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