Shift to Plant Based Diets Can Reach Environmental Targets

By May 22, 2023June 5th, 2023other locations

98 organizations, including TIRN, sent a letter to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calling on the IPCC to affirm its independence from private and corporate interests, to maintain a strict ethics regime, and to boldly uplift the huge body of existing science that affirms the devastating climate consequences of animal agriculture and the global meat industry.

The IPCC was urged to fully recognize the scientific evidence that shows the role of food and agriculture in driving the climate crisis and to ensure that future reports specifically highlight plant-based diets as a key climate strategy. In the past, the IPCC has recommended plant-based diets, but they were notably omitted from this year’s latest report. The coalition of 98 organizations highlighted their concern of the omission following heavy contesting and lobbying by the global meat industry via Brazil and Argentina’s delegations.

With this concern, the IPCC was called on to be transparent with their actions and prevent future potential interferences by meat and dairy industries. Even the appearance of impropriety can negatively affect the perceived legitimacy of future actions and recommendations.

The coalition also highlighted the role of the meat and dairy industry in the environmental impact of food production, contributing 16.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions according to peer-reviewed analysis of data collected by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. 

The IPCC was urged to return to recommending plant-based diets, to help lessen the burden on the environment caused by the meat industry.

“The faster we shift to plant-based diets, the sooner we can significantly reduce global emissions, air pollution, and global mortality rates—while also reaching IPCC stated environmental targets,” the groups wrote in the letter. 

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.