(Photo: Helen Rickard/Shutterstock.com)

Government Climate Advisors Say Meat And Dairy Production Must Drop By 20%

by | January 23, 2020

Official advisors have told the UK government that the country must slash its meat and dairy consumption by 20 percent to help combat climate change.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) — which is made up of government officials, scientists and academics — is working to develop the best advice on decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC, has labelled the climate crisis as “a race against time.”

“The options we are proposing would see farmers and land managers – the stewards of the land – delivering actions to reduce emissions” said Deben.

“Doing so can provide new revenue opportunities for farmers, better air quality and improved biodiversity, and more green spaces for us all to enjoy.”

As well as scaling back on meat and dairy production, the CCC has advised that one fifth of land used for farming be repurposed to grow trees.

The UK is aiming to meet a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

uk meat and dairy farming
More than two million cows are slaughtered every year in the UK (Photo: Anton Havelaar/Shutterstock.com)

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UK Meat And Dairy Production

There are roughly 10 million cows in the UK, with approximately 2 million being slaughtered for food annually. Additionally, British farms send 10 million pigs, 14.5 million sheep, and 950 million birds to slaughter each year.

Since 2001, UK dairy farms have produced over 12 billion litres of milk every year.

The CCC research shows that a 20 percent reduction in meat and dairy farming activities could save seven million tonnes of CO2.

Environmental expert George Monbiot has labelled the CCC’s advice as “feeble half measures.”

“People in the UK are already reducing their red meat consumption. A 10 percent reduction in cattle and sheep numbers by 2050 is likely to be much smaller than the shift that’s going to happen anyway” Monbiot said.

Do you think the government will listen to the advice of the CCC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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