Can we eat meat and still tame global warming?

Adopt a green diet and help save Earth: UN body report | India News

UN pushes for sustainable land use, plant-based fuel

"Recent coverage of this latest United Nations report depicts animal agriculture as a key problem in the climate change discussion", he said. "However, when compared to other sectors in countries such as the UK, its emissions are significantly less".

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says agriculture, forestry and other land uses produce almost half of the world's methane emissions, a greenhouse gas that also comes from cows.

"The report highlights that climate change is affecting all four pillars of food security: availability (yield and production), access (prices and ability to obtain food), utilization (nutrition and cooking), and stability (disruptions to availability)".

Climate-change scientists meeting in Geneva released a report Thursday that locks on to one of metro Atlanta's popular social action programs as a way to stem global warming - rescuing food that's destined for the landfill and getting it on someone's table.

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The changing climate has already likely contributed to drier climates in South and East Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, reducing the food and water supply.

"Other steps we can take would involve changing our collective diets to be environmentally ethical (avoiding mass produced, resource intensive and land pollutant foods such as avocados, palm oil and red meat), protect natural habitats and prevent largescale natural destruction (like in the Amazon rainforest), improve crop varieties and engage in ago-forestry (instead of cutting down forests to farm)".

The report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. It also flagged vulnerability of people in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region, encompassing parts of Pakistan, India, Nepal and China to food insecurity due to climate change. Food waste is also a major issue, with more than one quarter of food going to waste right now. Sustainable farming practices are necessary to ensure that land remains usable as the planet heats up. Climate change will worsen the impact of soil loss, the report said.

At 2 degrees Celsius of warming, the threat of a food crisis multiplies; even at 1.5 degrees C, wildfires are a grave threat.

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The panel stressed that it's essential that policy-makers keep this in mind when considering how they should invest, adapt to, and try to mitigate the effects of climate change. Lands play a dual role in climate change: We need lands for agriculture - which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions - but they can be part of the solution by drawing carbon from the atmosphere.

Such pressures on the food system come at a time when the global population is rising, with more and more people able to afford a meat-rich, Western-style diet.

In a sign of the growing risk that climate change is seen to pose for countries' economies, Moody's in July bought a controlling interest in a company that measures the physical risks of climate change. Any scenario to limit global warming to less than 2°C by 2100 "requires land-related mitigation and land-use change", authors estimate.

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