March 11, 2009

Low-meat diet could slash cost of climate change action

Reducing meat consumption would halve the cost of addressing global warming. Researchers at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency have published a study that evaluates the cost of halting climate change by stabilizing atmospheric CO2 at the estimated safe level of 450 parts per million. The report concludes that US$20 trillion, or 50 percent of a total US$40 trillion cost, could be saved from a global shift to a low-meat diet, along with the benefits of dramatically reduced methane emissions from minimized livestock rearing. Moreover, the millions of square kilometers of land no longer used for raising cattle could function instead as croplands for vegetation that would feed humans directly and would also absorb enormous amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency researchers, we appreciate your calculations that illuminate the logic of the plant-based diet, both economically and environmentally. Blessed be the gift of the animal-free lifestyle in securing the future of all co-inhabitants on our Earth.

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