Widespread global adoption of plant-based diets and other changes are needed to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to a report published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers note that behaviors around diet account for 26% of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, reducing consumption of animal products would use less water and land and reduce consumption of saturated fats. Meat consumption in America and Europe would need to drop by 79% and 68%, respectively in order to reach international emission goals. The authors recommend policies that decrease affordability of unhealthful foods like meat by removing subsides on livestock, for example, while increasing affordability of healthful, plant-based foods.
Marteau TM, Chater N, Garnett EE. Changing behaviour for net zero 2050. BMJ. 2021;375:n2293. doi: 10.1136/bmj.n2293t