Changing our diets could save the world

24 November 2015

Chatham House, the influential think-tank, has today published a new report entitled Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption.

The paper discusses how a staggering almost 15% of global emissions are caused by the livestock sector and that a shift in meat consumption could dramatically reduce these emissions.

The report states: “As countries prepare to agree a new international deal at the UN climate change conference… there remains a significant gap between the emissions reductions countries have proposed and what is required for a decent chance of keeping temperature rise below 2°C. Governments need credible strategies to close the gap, and reducing meat consumption is an obvious one: worldwide adoption of a healthy diet would generate over a quarter of the emission reductions needed by 2050.”

Key findings of the report:

  • Our appetite for meat is a major driver of climate change.
  • Reducing global meat consumption will be critical to keeping global warming below the ‘danger level’ of a 2°C rise.
  • Public awareness of the issue is low, and meat remains off the policy agenda.
  • Governments must lead in shifting attitudes and behaviours.

These findings reflect Compassion’s belief that consumers should eat less meat, in order to tackle climate change.

Our Chief Policy Advisor, Peter Stevenson, says: “With the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris fast approaching, we want to see livestock production and overconsumption of meat and dairy foods on the agenda.

“Research shows that we cannot avoid a dangerous rise in temperatures unless there is a substantial decrease in global meat and dairy consumption.”

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