As global leaders gather at COP26 to discuss the current climate emergency, we the undersigned have an urgent and unified message:
“Tackling the climate crisis isn’t rocket science! We already have a solution that can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions – moving to a plant-based diet. What we need now is for politicians and policymakers to prioritize diet change to protect our planet.
The forthcoming third part of a landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, leaked in August, states: ‘A shift to diets with a higher share of plant-based protein in regions with excess consumption of calories and animal-source food can lead to substantial reductions in emissions, while also providing health benefits … Plant-based diets can reduce emissions by up to 50% compared to the average emission intensive western diet.’ (1)
This echoes a 2018 report published in the journal Science which showed that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. The authors concluded that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.’ (2)
Yet, globally, government initiatives to drive down meat and dairy consumption are virtually non-existent. This – like our diets – must change today as only ‘rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gases this decade can prevent climate breakdown’ according to the IPCC. (3)
Our planet is at a tipping point. We must act now to prevent a rise in temperature that will drastically alter life on earth. Changing our diets is one small step for each of us, but together, it’s a giant leap for the future of humankind.”