Eating less meat is essential to fight climate change

Chatham House’s new report confirms the significant environmental impact of the livestock industry. Yet governments are doing nothing.

The largest amount of the polluting emissions comes from transports. Wrong. This is what most of people think worldwide, according to a global survey carried out by Ipsos Mori. The main source of pollution is the livestock industry, which produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, airplanes, trains and ships together.


In order to curb global warming effects it is necessary to cut meat consumption. The nth warning comes from a research by the Chatham House, independent association based in the UK, according to which breeding farms all over the world produce 14.5% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. The lack of awareness among people represents the main obstacle to stop the phenomenon.


Results clearly show a lack of awareness among publics. The acknowledgement of the role of the livestock industry in contributing to climate change resulted definitely lower than in the other sectors examined,” said Rob Bailey, the report’s lead author. In order to contain deforestation and reduce transports impact, governments have taken important measures, whilst they did very little for the livestock industry.


A change in people’s diet can substantially lower emissions, according to IPCC last report. Despite there’s no doubt about the disastrous impact of meat and dairy products production, governments and the UN are doing nothing to reduce consumption. The reason seems to be the fear of consumers’ reaction and the conviction that telling citizens what to eat wouldn’t be fair, according to Chatham House.


Chatham House’s report shows that the global demand of meat is likely to significantly increase by 60-70% by 2050. “We can cut a quarter of our climate emissions from the European food supply chain by eating more pulses, fruit and vegetables and by reducing our meat consumption. National governments should improve food education to encourage healthy eating habits and environmental sustainability as a first step,” said Brigitte Alarcon, sustainable food policy officer at WWF.


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