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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The world must eat less meat, says UN climate change report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued their latest report on how to mitigate the climate crisis and has explicitly stated that a reduction in meat consumption is a vital measure that individuals can take to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

The IPCC is comprised of the world’s leading climate scientists, and publishes comprehensive updates on the climate crisis. The latest report stresses that GHG emissions must peak by 2025, and reiterates that a massive immediate increase in mitigation policies is required in order to stay within the 1.5°C target. Back in February this year, the IPCC report already sounded the alarm on any further delay in concerted global action on climate-change adaptation and mitigation – if we do not act now, we will miss the rapidly closing window on averting the crisis. The UN Emissions Gap Report 2021 shows that the world is still heading towards global warming of 2.7℃ by the end of this century, even if all Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are implemented. 

The latest IPCC report adds that a less meat-intensive diet brings health benefits such as decreased mortality from diet-related diseases. It acknowledges that demand for plant-based proteins and other products is increasing and that the market for such products is projected to reach a sizable share within the next decade, with milk alternatives having already seen large increases in market share. 

The IPCC’s recommendation on moderating meat and dairy intake and a move towards a more plant-based diet has been greeted positively by NGOs and corporations alike. “It’s 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 a step in the right direction,” said Raphael Podselver, Head of UN Advocacy at ProVeg.

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