Eating Less Meat Could Cut Climate Costs
According to experts, reduction in human consumption of beef and pork could save as much as $20 trillion in fighting climate change, through reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and lessening the need for carbon-saving technologies, such as “clean coal” power plants.
Consuming beef is particularly damaging to the environment. To produce one kilogram of beef, 15 kg of grain and 30 kg of forage are required. If eating habits do not change, researchers estimate that emissions would have to be reduced by two-thirds by 2050 to become sustainable, at a cost of about $40 trillion.
Switching to a low meat diet (defined as 70 grams of chicken and egg per week and 70 grams of beef per week) would free up 15 million square kilometers of farmland. Consequently, greenhouse gas emissions would decline by 10% due to the drop in the number of farmed animals.