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Go Vegan To Reverse Climate Change, Says UN

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Ben Dolbear Looks At The Breaking UN Report Which Damningly Assesses The Western Meat-Based Diet.

Photo by David Riaño Cortés

A Cry For Radical Change

A major report penned by 107 leading global scientists for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that the Western world’s excessive consumption of meat and dairy products is speeding up the rate of global warming. 

Efficiency is a key theme running through the report, which argues that less land can be used for agriculture if people cut down the levels of meat in their diet. Land can also be used more effectively, it says, by storing more of the carbon that humans emit. 

Altering Lifestyles

Half of the experts who have helped to compile the report, a summary of which was released on 8 August to help inform upcoming climate negotiations, hail from developing countries. This is significant as the report will be published in light of the news that deforestation is occurring in the Amazon rainforest at alarming rates as demand for meat spirals to unsustainable levels, with over 2,254 square kilometres cleared last month alone. 

Whilst ecologists like Hans-Otto Pörtner, who co-chairs the IPCC, stopped short of telling people what to eat because in some parts of the globe people have no choice, they stressed that those in rich nations have a duty to cut down the amount of meat in their diets, and emphasised that ‘politics [should] create appropriate incentives to that effect’. 

A Final Chance

The deforestation to the Amazon that is happening as a result of excessive meat and dairy consumption, it has also been warned, will soon turn much of what remains of the rainforest into a ‘degraded type of desert’, releasing between 30 and 50 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere over the next half-century, a ‘very worrying’ prospect, according to Carlos Nobre, a climate scientist at the University of São Paolo. 

BBC data shows that agriculture and forestry account for more than one quarter of all greenhouse gases emissions on the globe, including through the methane gas that animals produce and deforestation to expand pasture land.  | Tru. 🌱

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