Store

If we want to save the climate, we have to cut down on meat

Secondo uno studio svedese, solo se mangeremo meno carne bovina e latticini potremo centrare i target di riduzione delle emissioni di gas ad effetto serra.

If Europe wants to meet its objectives to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, its citizens have to reduce their meat and dairy consumption. In other words, climate protection cannot leave our eating habits out of consideration. A scientific study carried out by Chalmers University of Technology of Göteborg, Sweden, points out how agriculture and livestock are responsible for a quarter of the emissions released in the EU, which are considered hazardous for the environment.

clima alimentazione carne cibo
According to a Swedish study, climate protection imposes to reconsider out eating habits ©Cate Gillon/Getty Images

Emissions will double if no action is taken

This industry – as explained by the study’s authors, specialised in environmental economy and biology – will have to cut its atmospheric pollution to 25%. Indeed, food farming represents a real threat to the entire world, considering that nitrous oxide from fields and methane from livestock may double by 2070 if the current methods (and amount) of production are not changed. “This alone would make meeting the climate target essentially impossible”.

Consequently, a significant reduction – by 50% or more – in beef consumption and dairy production will be unavoidable. According to study’s co-author Stefan Wirsenius, favouring other types of meat – with a lower impact on the environment – will be necessary. The Swedish study underlines that the production of one kilogramme of beef generates about 200 kg of CO2 (compared to 10 kg and 30 kg for the same amount of pork and chicken meat respectively).

cibo alimentazione carne clima
Cattle breeding in Spain ©Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

One kilogramme of beef, 15,500 litres of water

There’s more. According to a study carried out by the NGO Friends of the Earth, one kilogramme of beef requires 15,500 litres of water to be brought to our tables. With the same water amount, 12 kg of wheat or over 100 kg of carrots could be produced.

Not to mention that about 40% of the annual production of wheat, rye, oat, and corn is today used for fodder. This means that humanity prefers feeding cows with huge amounts of food rather than eating that amount directly.

Translated by

Related articles