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Peak meat?

  • by JW

In an open letter to The Lancet Planetary Health journal on Wednesday, a group of scientists declared that “Countries should be looking for peak livestock within the next 10 years:”

Worldwide meat consumption and livestock farming ‘must peak’ within the next decade to hit 2050 CO2 emissions targets and prevent climate change spiralling out of control

  • Livestock numbers should peak in 2030 before dropping off to reduce emissions
  • More than 50 academics worldwide signed an open letter backing the idea 
  • Outlined four-part plan which is ‘necessary’ to hit targets of the Paris Agreement
  • Also says reclaimed farmland should be returned to a natural state while farming should move away from animals and towards beans, lentils and peas 

Worldwide meat consumption and livestock farming ‘must peak’ within the next decade | Daily Mail

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) responds:

A group of 50 scientists from around the world penned a letter to academic journal Lancet Planetary Health urging global nations to “declare a timeframe for peak livestock” after which production would not increase.

But their argument rests on the false premise that increased production means more animals, equating to increased carbon emissions.

In fact, genetic improvements and management efficiencies mean flock and herd numbers have not risen in direct proportion to production.

At UK level, production increased by four per cent for meat, eggs and milk from 1990 to 2017. But in the same period, greenhouse gas emissions for these foodstuffs dropped by 20 per cent.

AHDB responds to ‘Peak Meat’ by 2030

Bovine somatotropin – Wikipedia