Should we all go vegan to stop climate change? New study suggests world needs to change diet

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Flexitarian diet is the new food trend. Other than eating plant based food items, it also lets you consume meat.

It’s not an idea which is going to win support from everybody, but if the entire world went vegan, it could help to slow down climate change, a new study has argued.

A new study published in Climate Policy suggests that up the livestock sector could ‘use up’ up to 47% of the greenhouse gas allowance by 2030.

If we are to hit the goals set out in the Paris Agreement (of a 1.5C rise in temperature), governments should consider encouraging people to shift to a plant-based diet, the researchers argue.

Harvard researcher Dr Helen Harwatt said, ‘Given the livestock sector’s significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and methane dominance, animal to plant protein shifts make a much-needed contribution to meeting the Paris temperature goals and reducing warming in the short term, while providing a suite of co-benefits.’

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‘Failure to implement animal to plant protein shifts increases the risk of exceeding temperature goals and requires additional, and unrealistic, greenhouse gas reductions from other sectors.

‘The current revision of national contributions to meeting the Paris Agreement from 2020 onwards should ideally integrate animal to plant-protein shifts.

‘As a next step, the COP24 in December this year provides an excellent opportunity for policy makers to start this important conversation.’

‘We need policy makers to enable the creation of Paris-compliant food systems on a much larger and faster scale – and animal to plant-protein shifts play a key role.’

The world really would be a better place if we were all vegan, Oxford University researchers said last year – with 8.1 million deaths avoided every year by 2050.

If we all switched to an all-veg diet, it would also save billions of pounds in healthcare and costs caused by climate damage.

The Oxford University researchers modelled the effects of four different diets by mid-century – and found that a change to veganism would have a huge impact on our planet, if implemented worldwide.
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They found thate 8.1 million fewer people would die in a world of vegans who do not consume animal products, including eggs and milk.

When it comes to climate change, adopting vegan diets would cut food-related emissions by 70 percent.