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Feb 19, 2015 / Richard Hall

Milk, meat and climate crisis

Two respected research authorities have poured cold water on the sustainability of the Western diet.

UK think tank Chatham House has said that avoiding a rise in global temperatures by more than two degrees, to prevent serious adverse climate change, is unachievable without a strong shift in dietary patterns.

“Meat and dairy consumption is set to grow rapidly in the next 40 years and it is unlikely dangerous climate change can be avoided unless consumption falls,” concluded its research director.

The Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has also advised that ‘the greatest potential for livestock-related emissions reduction relies on people choosing to eat less meat and dairy.’

There is no doubt that meat and milk are responsible for high emissions and have a substantial water footprint.

But dairy offers such important nutritive value as well as pleasure, I have every confidence that more intelligent policies linking agriculture to nutrition as well as reductions in resource and other waste would allow future generations to continue benefiting from dairy without regret.


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