Wednesday December 02, 2015
Cutting meat from our diet could help fight climate change
With world leaders and their armies of delegates gathered in Paris for the climate change talks right now, there will no doubt be many working lunches and dinners, with negotiations continuing right through their meals.
But as they hash out specifics involving industrial smokestacks and automobile emissions... they should perhaps look down, and focus on what's on their plate. Because if there's meat, it's a high-emitting entrée in its own right.
Livestock accounts for fully 15% of global emissions, according to the U.N.
And a new study argues that if we could just cut down on our meat consumption, it could be a key to keeping global warming under the target of two degrees Celsius.
Laura Wellesley is a research associate at the British think-tank Chatham House, and the co-author of the study, "Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption." She was in London, England.
When it comes to fighting off climate change with your knife and fork, cutting down on meat can make a difference. But according to Rod MacRae, it's not just what you eat but how it made its way to you that accounts for a critical part of its carbon footprint.
Rod MacRae is an associate professor of environmental studies at York University in Toronto, where he specialises in food policy analysis.
Have you changed the way you eat out of environmental concerns... or are you thinking about it?
This segment was produced by The Current's Julian Uzielli and Sarah Grant.
Keeping with our theme of meat and the toll it takes on the planet.
Scientists are working hard at developing lab grown meat, or "shmeat" as it's also known, which would have a much smaller environmental impact than traditional meat.
We aired a segment in 2013 on "shmeat" on The Current. Have a listen.
Here's an explainer on "shmeat" that was produced by the website, Eater.com