Greenpeace: We Must Cut Meat And Dairy Production By 50% By 2050 To Save The Planet

A climate change expert said 'only a significant decrease in meat and milk consumption will allow us to deliver a food system fit for the future'
Animal agriculture is responsible for a huge percentage of greenhouse gas emissions (Photo: Dominion)

Environmental charity Greenpeace has released a report saying global meat and dairy production and consumption must be cut in half by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change and keep the Paris Agreement on track.

According to the charity, if left unchecked, 'agriculture is projected to produce 52 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, 70 percent of which will come from meat and dairy'.


Health should also be a major driving force behind cutting meat consumption, according to the report.

It says 'increased production and consumption of meat is behind a latent global health crisis'.

"High red meat consumption has been linked to cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes," says Greenpeace.

"Millions of lives could be saved each year if people had access to a diet rich in plant-based foods. Industrial animal agriculture is also associated with antimicrobial resistance – which the World Health Organization declared a 'global health emergency' – and is a significant source of foodborne pathogens.


Greenpeace is an environmental charity


Bunny McDiarmid, Executive Director of Greenpeace International said: "Something is rotten in our food system. Governments continue to support massive meat and dairy operations, leading to more and more meat consumption while putting our health, our children’s health, and the health of our planet at risk.

"Instead, they should be supporting the increasing numbers of farmers shifting towards ecological production of healthy foods, and helping people access healthy plant-based foods.

"A new, diverse global movement is growing: one hungry for a better way of eating and producing food that is in tune with ourselves and the environment.

"Together, we can loosen the grip of industrial animal agriculture on our food system and build a healthier world for our generation and the next."


Greenpeace is launching a new global campaign calling for a major shift in the way we eat and the way we farm is response to the rising impacts of animal agriculture.

The charity wants to see a 50 percent reduction of meat and dairy and a significant increase of plant-based in both production and consumption by 2050.

Pete Smith, Former Convening Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC], said: "The need to reduce demand for livestock products is now a scientifically mainstream view.

"Only a significant decrease in meat and milk consumption will allow us to deliver a food system fit for the future – for the benefit of humans and the planet as a whole.

"Producing the same mix of foods as we consume now, even if we were to do so more sustainably, cannot deliver the reduction in environmental impacts we need to protect the planet for our children and their children."

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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