meat and dairy

Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

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Europeans need to make some serious changes to their diet plan. A new research claims that the continent’s meat and dairy production has surpassed safe limits for greenhouse emissions and the agriculture industry in Europe must reduce its production.

Rural Investment Support For Europe (RISE) released the report supporting the campaign to reduce global meal and dairy production by 2050 to keep in accord with the Paris climate agreement. The campaign is initiated by Greenpeace.

Europe is one of the world’s biggest consumers of meat and dairy and also, the contributors of the emissions leading to global warming worsening climate change. EU along with China, the US, Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand are responsible for more than 60% of global meat and dairy emissions, studies claimed.

“Unless policymakers face up to this now, livestock farmers will pay the price of their inactivity. ‘Protecting the status quo’ is providing a disservice to the sector” Janez Potocnik, the EU’s former environment commissioner told the Guardian.

The meat and dairy industry is growing at a rapid pace. According to a study by GRAIN and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade policy, it will soon surpass the fossil fuel industry as the leading contributor to climate change.

Almost 80% of the world’s agricultural land is now used for grazing and animal feed production. A study by Rise foundation claimed the meat intake by Europeans is double compared to what recommended by national dietary authorities.

The report’s co-author Allan Buckwell said that the health implications are more severe than global warming. The meat only contributes to 18% of calories in the human body.

“We’re talking about fewer meat meals, less meat portions and moving to flexitarian diets without being dogmatic about it,” Allan Buckwell said. “There is a role for softer public health messaging but harder messages are necessary too.”

So, if Europe aims to keep up with the Paris Agreement to keep it all balanced by lowering greenhouse gas emission by 84% and nitrate-based fertilizer use by 60%, big adjustments are needed to be done and bring sustainability in the food industry.

 

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