The international environmental organisation, Greenpeace, has released a report stating that meat and dairy consumption must be reduced by half by 2050 in order to avoid dangerous climate change and keep the Paris Agreement on track.
The report states that 'If left unchecked, agriculture is projected to produce 52% of global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, 70% of which will come from meat and dairy.'
Bunny McDiarmid, Executive Director of Greenpeace International said: “Something is rotten in our food system. Governments continue to support massive meat and dairy operations, leading to more and more meat consumption while putting our health, our children’s health, and the health of our planet at risk.
“Instead, they should be supporting the increasing numbers of farmers shifting towards ecological production of healthy foods, and helping people access healthy plant-based foods.”
In order to tackle the growing risk of animal agriculture on public health, the environment and the climate, Greenpeace is launching a new global campaign to shift the way in which we eat and farm, aiming to reduce meat and dairy consumption by 50% whilst majorly increasing the consumption and production of plant-based foods.
The report also points out the link between high red meat consumption to cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, stating that 'millions of lives could be saved each year if people had access to a diet rich in plant-based foods'
Pete Smith, Former Convening Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said: “The need to reduce demand for livestock products is now a scientifically mainstream view. Only a significant decrease in meat and milk consumption will allow us to deliver a food system fit for the future – for the benefit of humans and the planet as a whole.
“Producing the same mix of foods as we consume now, even if we were to do so more sustainably, cannot deliver the reduction in environmental impacts we need to protect the planet for our children and their children.”
Greenpeace is calling upon governments to end policies that support industrial meat and dairy production and to make healthy, plant-based meals more readily available.
Bunny McDiarmid added: “What we decide to eat, as individuals and as a global society, is one of the most powerful tools we have in the fight against climate change and environmental destruction.”