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Statement of Dr. Pachauri on meat consumption and climate changeDear reader,
Worldwide, livestock-farming is responsible for no less then 18% of total greenhouse gas emissions (Source: FAO, Livestock's long shadow, 2007).
Greenhouse gas emissions through meat production and associated land-use changes are one of the most important causes of climate change/warming. Yet people, especially in high-income societies, continue to eat large amounts of meat. This high meat intake not only has negative effects on the climate and biodiversity; it is also harmful for our health because it increases the risk of cardio vascular disease, obesity, diabetes and other diseases of affluence. Hence, it is very important to limit our meat consumption. Eating less meat means less greenhouse gases will be emitted.
Because our food, and especially meat consumption is such a significant cause of greenhouse gas emissions, an essential means we have in the fight against climate change may very well be. our fork. Each time you eat a vegetarian meal instead of a meat based meal, you contribute to mitigation of emissions of greenhouse gases which cause climate change. Even if you would only skip meat once a week, you would still save 170 kilograms of CO2 every year. That is about the amount you emit by driving your car 1100 km. So skipping the meat now and then is a good recipe against climate change.
But of course one person can only do so much. It is also the responsibility of governments and industries to ensure that sustainable alternatives like vegetarian food are widely available and affordable. Several alternative policies and options could lead to lower consumption of meat and climate-friendly lifestyles, which a society may decide on with its own wisdom. EVA has provided a menu of actions that could be adopted as provided below, and it is for communities and governments to decide how to consider them.
Dr. Rajendra Pachauri
Nobel Peace Prize winner 2007
Other EVANA-articles about this topic:
USA: Industry speaks out against 'Meatless Mondays' (en)
The livestock industry and climate (en)
WSPA: Eating our future (en)
Veg Climate Alliance: Open letter to President Obama (en)
USA: Nebraska Beef Ltd. has recalled nearly 6.7 million pounds of beef this summer (en)