Quantcast

Shift to Vegetarian Diets Is Needed to Save the World, Climate Scientists Say in Leaked Report

Climate
Agriculture and other land uses now account for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. Chesapaeake Bay Program / Flickr

By Julia Conley

When some of the world's top scientists conclude an international summit in Geneva next week, they are expected to call for a major shift to vegetarian diets around the world in order to keep the warming of the globe under 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


Simply focusing on reducing or eliminating carbon emissions from fossil fuel industries, factories and vehicles will not be enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, according to a leaked draft of the report out of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summit.

Humans will also need to significantly change how food is produced and consumed, the draft says, according to The Guardian.

"We are now getting very close to some dangerous tipping points in the behavior of the climate — but as this latest leaked report of the IPCC's work reveals, it is going to be very difficult to achieve the cuts we need to make to prevent that happening," Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, told The Guardian in response to the leaked report.

Agriculture and other land uses now account for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, while half of the methane emissions in the atmosphere are released from cattle and rice fields. Nearly a quarter of the world's land is now taken up by humans and their endeavors supporting the growing population and developing and maintaining food systems.

Land will have to be managed far more sustainably, the IPCC finds, and a significant shift away from meat-heavy diets will need to take place to keep the warming of the globe from passing 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"The consumption of healthy and sustainable diets, such as those based on coarse grains, pulses and vegetables, and nuts and seeds … presents major opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions," the draft reads, according to The Guardian.

The panel is also expected to recommend "improved access to markets, empowering women farmers, expanding access to agricultural services, strengthening land tenure security, [and] early warning systems for weather, crop yields, and seasonal climate events."

The IPCC summit ends August 6. One hundred and ninety nations are expected to meet in late 2020 for the largest climate-focused summit since the Paris climate accord was forged in 2015.

On social media, climate experts and other observers implored leaders at all levels of government to heed the IPCC's warning and push for significant changes to agriculture and food systems.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) surfacing, showing the remains of a blow and its mottled appearance near South Georgia Island in the Polar Regions. Mick Baines & Maren / Getty Images

The largest animal on Earth is proving that wildlife protections work.

Read More
A pipeline that ruptured in Mississippi Saturday, forcing hundreds to evacuate. Yazoo County Emergency Management Agency

More than 300 people were forced to evacuate and 46 were sent to the hospital after a gas pipeline ruptured in Mississippi Saturday.

Read More
Sponsored
Pexels

By Tim Lydon

Climate-related disasters are on the rise, and carbon emissions are soaring. Parents today face the unprecedented challenge of raising children somehow prepared for a planetary emergency that may last their lifetimes. Few guidebooks are on the shelves for this one, yet, but experts do have advice. And in a bit of happy news, it includes strategies already widely recognized as good for kids.

Read More
Pexels

Be it Nina Simone and James Brown for civil rights, Joni Mitchell and Marvin Gaye for the environment, or Jackson Browne and Buffalo Springfield for nuclear disarmament, musicians have long helped push social movements into the limelight.

Read More
Yulia Lisitsa / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Brianna Elliott, RD

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body.

It is the major component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles.

Read More