NGO welcomes study calling for meat reduction as UN meeting approaches
19 May 2022
Food awareness organisation ProVeg International has welcomed a study by a German university that says rich countries must reduce their meat consumption by up to 75% if climate goals are to be met.
ProVeg is running a campaign under the banner “Diet Change Not Climate Change” to encourage the shift to plant-based diets to reduce emissions from the global animal agriculture industry. Animal agriculture is responsible for about 20% of total human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions1 and 32% of global human-made methane emissions2.
The German study, from Bonn University, has been published in the run-up to the UN’s Bonn Climate Change Conference from 6 to 16 June, when countries will be setting the agenda for the annual COP27 meeting taking place later in the year in Egypt.
Study author Prof Dr Matin Qaim, of Bonn University’s Center for Development Research (ZEF), notes that if all humans consumed as much meat as Europeans or North Americans, international climate targets would be missed and many ecosystems would collapse.
The study points out that every EU citizen consumes around 80 kilograms of meat per year. Professor Qaim recommends ideally reducing annual meat consumption to 20 kilograms or less.
“We welcome the study’s insights into the effects of meat consumption on the environment and its recommendations to reduce meat,” Raphaël Podselver, Head of UN Advocacy at ProVeg, said.
“Reducing meat consumption is vital to help ease the pressure on the environment and to meet the goal set by the 2015 Paris Agreement of limiting global mean temperatures at 1.5°C global above pre-industrial levels ,” he added.
The Bonn study’s conclusions also align with the report issued by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last month3 which states that one of the biggest individual contributions to reducing emissions is to adopt a sustainable, healthy diet, which includes moderating meat and dairy intake through a plant-based diet.
ProVeg will be present at the Bonn meeting, also called the Intersessionals, where the NGO will be raising awareness of the need for food system change.
After the Bonn event, ProVeg will be attending the annual UN climate change conference, COP27, which takes place in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt from 7-18 November 2022.
- Xu et al. (2021): Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant based foods.
- UNEP (2021): Global Methane Assessment: Benefits and Costs of Mitigating Methane Emissions.
- IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (April 2022): Mitigation of Climate Change.
Notes to Editors
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About ProVeg International
ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.
ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.
ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.