Ahead of the December United Nations Climate Change Conference in South Africa, former World Bank senior environmental advisor Dr. Robert Goodland has been campaigning to convince nations everywhere that livestock raising should be the focus in halting global warming.
Dr. Goodland states that even starting with a 25% reduction in meat consumption would help achieve the goals of agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord set by the United Nations.
In 2009, Dr. Goodland co-authored a landmark report stating that the life cycle of livestock production is accountable for at least 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions, after factoring in new sources such as the carbon emitted through animal respiration.
Robert Goodland (M): Sixty billion livestock animals were raised, 60 billion were killed, and 60 billion were eaten by us. Sixty billion animals of livestock respiration emits 10 billion tons of carbon, whereas the transport sector only emits 6 billion. The carbon dioxide emitted by pigs, cows, chickens, is roughly the same per kilogram of body weight. It's about two watts per kilogram.
Therefore, switching from beef to pork, or beef to pork to chicken won't help solve climate risk. The only thing you can do is to reduce livestock intake yourselves.
Now, if you can reduce your intake by more, and Professor Choi this morning mentioned that people go vegetarian, that's even better. That would be absolutely brilliant.
VOICE: Dr. Goodland joins other scientists in pointing out that changing our lifestyles would also allow forest regeneration, which he states is the only way to sequester today’s atmospheric carbon dioxide on a large scale.
Robert Goodland (M): Saving the planet means preventing climate catastrophe, and it's much easier than people think. People think that you have to change from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
That is essential, but it's too long term. We haven't got the time to change totally from fossil fuels, coal, and oil to renewable energies.
But on the other hand, individuals, by a reduction in livestock production, can make a huge difference in preventing climate change. It's a very hopeful message.
VOICE: Our appreciation, Dr. Robert Goodland for raising awareness on the most crucial solution to climate change – to be veg. May we all join in efforts to avert a planetary crisis by shifting to vegan agriculture and diets today.
During a December 2010 press conference with members of the Mexican media, Supreme Master Ching Hai explained that dietary change is the priority in addressing climate change.