We have to eat less meat to cut global greenhouse gas emissions

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In a recent study, researchers conclude that even if every country worldwide completely stops using fossil fuels from all sources starting today, it wouldn’t be enough. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from food production and consumption would still shove us over the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limits as early as mid-century.

The study suggests that to fight climate change, not only will we have to decarbonize our power grid and remove gas-powered vehicles off the road, we will also have to limit our meat consumption.

Food is one of the world’s largest contributors to GHG emissions from human activities, following transportation and electricity. According to the study published on November 6 in the journal Science, the food we produce, consume, and waste accounts for around 30% of global warming. This is mainly caused by the production and use of fertilizers, agricultural land use, and cow burps and farts.

Unlike GHG emitted by power plants and vehicles, which can be removed and replaced with solar power plants and electric buses, emissions from food production lack attractive solutions. The team evaluated the potential impact that different strategies can have on our food-based carbon footprint, and the most effective solution was to eat less meat. Read more…

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