The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Meat and Dairy Greenhouse Emissions 'Could Lead Us to a Point of No Return'
GRAIN, a non-profit organization, collaborated with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the Heinrich Böll Foundation to estimate the greenhouse emissions of meat and dairy corporations, a figure that few companies calculate or publish.
The study was published as meat and dairy industry representatives arrived in Bonn, Germany for the COP23 to emphasize their role in food security.
In stark terms the study warns that if unchecked, the world's top meat and dairy producers' greenhouse emissions "could lead us to a point of no return."
Projections showing business-as-usual meat and dairy greenhouse emissions.GRAIN
Through lobbying, major meat and dairy companies have promoted policies that have led to increased production and consumption around the world. Livestock production now contributes 15 percent of global greenhouse emissions, more than the transportation sector, according to the study.
If livestock production continues to grow at the rates estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, greenhouse emissions from the meat and dairy industries will undercut attempts to keep global average temperatures below 2°C.
The paper's authors warned that industry representatives will arrive at the COP23 in Bonn pushing their agenda—the expansion of livestock production—as a solution. This will amount to criticism of small-scale farmers, which is where the solution in cutting greenhouse emissions lies, according to the authors of the study.
Rather than continuing to subsidize factory farming and agribusiness that undercuts millions of small farmers, governments should redirect public money to support "small-scale agroecological" farms, the study suggests.
Graph showing the top 20 meat and dairy companies' greenhouse emissions.GRAIN
Three out the world's five biggest meat and dairy greenhouse gas emitters are U.S.-based companies.
A previous study showed beef, when compared to staples like potatoes, wheat and rice, has a per calorie impact that requires 160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gases.
Another study published in Environmental Research Letters calculated that a 50 percent reduction in mean per capita meat consumption in the developed world is needed by 2050 to meet global greenhouse gas emissions targets.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Melissa Kravitz
Can't stop eating that bag of chips until you're licking the salt nestled in the corners of the empty package from your fingers? You're not alone. And it's not entirely your fault that the intended final handful of chips was not, indeed, your last for that snacking session. Many common snack foods have been expertly engineered to keep us addicted, almost constantly craving more of whatever falsely satisfying manufactured treat is in front of us.
By Kim Knowlton
A new paper just out in The Lancet Planetary Health provides the first global indication that recent temperature increases, propelled by climate change, are in fact contributing significantly to longer and more intense pollen seasons.
EcoWatch is pleased to announce its second photo contest! Earth Day is happening on April 22nd, and this year's theme is "Protect Our Species." With that in mind, we want EcoWatchers to show us your photographs of creatures that inhabit Earth. Send us your best photos of species you value.
By Julia Conley
In propping up the coal industry, the Trump administration is not only contributing to dangerous pollution, fossil fuel emissions and the climate crisis, it is also now clinging to a far more expensive energy production model than renewable energy offers.
That's according to a new report from renewable energy analysis firm Energy Innovation, showing that about three-quarters of power produced by the nation's remaining coal plants is more expensive for American households than renewables including wind, solar and hydro power.
At least 19 people have died and more than 100 have been injured in flash flooding in the south of Iran, the country's semi-official Tasnim News Agency said. The city of Shiraz in Fars province was the worst hit by the flooding, which occurred after a month's worth of rain fell in a few hours, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.
Climate change is having a grizzly effect on Mount Everest as melting snow and glaciers reveal some of the bodies of climbers who died trying to scale the world's highest peak.
The Navajo Nation has decided to stop pursuing the acquisition of a beleaguered coal-fired power plant in Arizona, locking in the plant to be taken offline and its associated coal mine to close later this year.
A Navajo Nation Council committee voted 11-9 last week to stop pursuing the purchase of the 2,250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station, which with the Kayenta coal mine provides more than 800 jobs to primarily Navajo and Hopi workers as well as tribal royalties.
A coalition of utilities that own the plant said in 2017 it would cease operations due to increased economic pressure, and the plant's future has proved a flash point for national and regional energy policy and raised larger questions on how Native communities will handle ties to fossil fuel industries as the economy changes.
For a deeper dive: