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UN’s Anti-Meat Push For Climate Change Sparks Response From Wyoming Experts

UN’s Anti-Meat Push For Climate Change Sparks Response From Wyoming Experts

In a recent report, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations urged people in wealthy nations to cut back on their meat consumption to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

If the FAO’s climate scientists can persuade people to cut back on their meat consumption, they see “huge potential for positive climate action.”
In short, it’s a political poker game in which the FAO is wagering that it will be simpler to persuade wealthy consumers to consume less meat than it will be to persuade China to reduce its industrial emissions.

The main challenge with this strategy, according to the FAO, is lowering agriculture’s carbon footprint while raising food production to keep up with a growing population.

The Wyoming Beef Council’s executive director, Ann Wittmann, claimed that the FAO’s reasoning is faulty and drags customers down a primrose path by suggesting that cutting back on meat consumption will have an impact on lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

“When you compare eating beef to airline travel or transportation in general, our impact is so tiny. We all want to make a difference, but that difference isn’t going to be made by giving up meat.”

According to the study conducted by the U.S. beef industry in response, eliminating all cattle and poultry from the country’s food chain would only result in a 0.36% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

The combustion of fossil fuels and other industrial processes generates thirty percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to the FAO. The United States emits 15% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, whereas the European Union, India, Russia, and Japan together produce 25%, and all other countries produce 30%.

The FAO reports the following breakdown of global greenhouse gas emissions by sector: transportation accounts for 14%; other energy production for 10%; buildings produce 6%; agriculture and forestry for 24%; industry for 21%; and electricity and heat production for 25%.

Dr. Steve Paisely, University of Wyoming Beef Extension Specialist said that the number of cattle in the US is the same as that in 1962 and the US is producing less meat with fewer cattle than ever before.

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