Eat less meat to tackle climate change: UN

Eating meat causes environmental degradation and world population needs to become veg, said UN panel.

Updated: Jun 03, 2010, 18:03 PM IST

London: Eating meat causes environmental degradation and the world population needs to become vegetarian to tackle climate change, says a UN panel.
Experts believe that the greatest cause of greenhouse gas emissions is food production and the use of fossil fuels.

"A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change," the International Panel of Sustainable Resource Management said.

As the world population increases, it is feared that the production of food will become the main cause of climate change and environmental degradation. However, the use of coal and oil could be gradually replaced by renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Agricultural production accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater production, 38 percent of land use and 19 percent of the world`s greenhouse gas emissions, the report said.

The report, to be presented to world governments, said the only way to feed the world while reducing climate change is to switch to more a more vegetarian diet, The Telegraph reported.

Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, said people can help fight climate change by eating less meat.

"The Panel have reviewed all the available science and conclude that two broad areas are currently having a disproportionately high impact on people and the planet`s life support systems - these are energy in the form of fossil fuels and agriculture, especially the raising of livestock for meat and dairy products," he said.