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UN says eat less meat to help combat climate crisis

IPCC report urges change of diet to free up land, preserve forests, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions


08 August 2019 07:27 PM


ACN | Barcelona

UN experts say the efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and combat global warming could be significantly boosted if people changed their diets and chose to eat less meat.

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommends mixing plant-based foods with "sustainably-produced animal-sourced food."

“We don’t want to tell people what to eat,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, an ecologist who co-chairs an IPCC working group. “But it would indeed be beneficial, for both climate and human health, if people in many rich countries consumed less meat.”

Scientists estimate that by 2050 dietary changes could free millions of square kilometers of land and reduce global CO2 emissions by up to eight billion tonnes per year.

The report also stresses the need to preserve forests, which soak up carbon in the air. Cattle raised on pastures of cleared woodland are particularly emission-intensive, it says.


  • Close up image of cows at Campllong farm. (Photo: Xavier Pi)

  • Close up image of cows at Campllong farm. (Photo: Xavier Pi)