News | Published January 23 2020

Reduce meat and milk by one fifth to combat climate change, report urges

The Committee on Climate Change has released a report which reveals people ought to cut their consumption of meat and dairy by one fifth in order to combat climate change.

The body continued, stating that public organisations should offer plant-based options with all meals. 

The introduction of taxes on meat and milk have also been suggested.

A reduction in the consumption of beef, lamb and dairy, alongside a decrease in food waste by 20 per cent, could see a decrease in CO2 on farms by seven million tonnes. The land no longer needed for animals could be used for trees, according to the report.

The report anticipates a ten per cent decrease in the number of sheep and cattle by 2050 when compared with 2017. This is in line with the reduction of 20 per cent in the past twenty years.

The National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales have noted that not all land is of sufficient quality to grow crops.

Minette Batters, the president of the NFU, said: "of British land, 65 per cent is only suitable for grazing livestock and we have the right climate to produce high quality red meat and dairy. Therefore, it makes sense that, when talking about environmental impact, the public continues to support British livestock production."

The report also suggests an increase in UK forestry from 13 per cent to 17 per cent by the end of 2050.

Chris Stark, the chief executive of the CCC said: “We can't meet the government's 2050 Net Zero target without major changes in the way we use the land, the way we farm, and what we eat.”

Critics feel the report does not go far enough.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
January 23 2020

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