Monday 16 December 2019

Scientists call on rich countries to hit ‘peak livestock’ in next decade

Scientists call on rich countries to hit ‘peak livestock’ in next decade

Scientists from America, Asia and Europe are calling on richer countries to give a timeframe for hitting 'peak livestock'. Failure to do so will, they claim, will make efforts to tackle climate change nigh on impossible.

In a letter to The Lancet Planetary Health they point out that if the livestock sector continues with business as usual, it alone will account for 49% of the emissions budget for 1·5°C by 2030, requiring other sectors to reduce emissions beyond a realistic or planned level. They add that since the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report in 1990, the production of meat, milk, and eggs has  increased from 758 million tonnes to 1247 million tonnes in 2017 and is projected to further increase.

They are urging high and middle income countries to adopt a timeframe to hit peak livestock. After this time the meat industry would not expand. In addition to this countries should identify the largest emissions producers and/or the largest users of land and set reduction targets for them. They also want to see a move away from livestock to plants, for instance beans, grains, fruits and vegetables and the revegetation or reforestation of grazing land.
Scientists who signed the letter include, Helen Harwatt from  Harvard University, William Ripple from Oregon State University in the USA and Abhishek Chaudhary from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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