Call to eat less meat to reduce global warming

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Greenhouse gas

Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Dr Rajendra Pachauri will this evening (Monday September 8) reinforce his call for...

Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Dr Rajendra Pachauri will this evening (Monday September 8) reinforce his call for westerners to reduce their meat consumption to help curb global warming when he gives a presentation in London.

In giving the Peter Roberts Memorial Lecture organised by lobby group Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), Pachauri - a renowned economist, environmentalist and vegetarian - will flesh out comments made over the weekend in which he claimed that British consumers could help to save the planet by cutting down on the amount of meat they eat as part of a raft of lifestyle changes.

Pachauri suggested that Britons could start to do their bit by having one meat-free day a week.

Meat production is calculated to contribute almost 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions around the world. Ruminants such as cattle and sheep are large contributors to the greenhouse effect by the highly damaging methane gas they emit - mainly by burping - during digestion.

Demand for meat and dairy products is escalating globally, especially in developing countries such as India and China. It is widely accepted that meat production is a very inefficient way of converting calories into food for people to eat.

A panel of experts, including CIWF’s Joyce D’Silva, journalist Felicity Lawrence and professor Robert Watson, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will join Pachauri in fielding questions following the lecture.

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