A new study by several well-known climate organizations published on Wednesday found that eating no more than two hamburgers a week would contribute to the fight against climate change.
The 2022 Climate Action Status Report, released on Wednesday, October 26, assesses global progress on 40 indicators deemed critical to keeping the 2030 climate targets set out in the Paris Agreement close at hand.
The report is described as a “to-do list for humanity” and calls on meat eaters to do their part to curb global warming.
The report notes that it is necessary to “reduce daily meat consumption per capita to 79 calories in high consumption regions” by 2030 (about two beef burgers per week or 8.5 burgers per month) and to 60 calories by 2050. 1.5 beef burgers per week or 6.5 beef burgers per month).
According to the report, “the transition to healthier and more sustainable eating” should accelerate fivefold, with meat consumption reduced to “approximately two beef burgers per week in the Americas, Europe and Oceania.”
It is widely believed that animal husbandry contributes to global warming through livestock emissions, habitat destruction, and the formation of greenhouse gases.
The 2015 Paris Agreement, signed by almost 200 countries, requires countries to halve their emissions by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C and thereby mitigate the effects of climate change.
The report notes that between 2015 and 2019, consumption of beef, lamb and goat meat in “high consumption areas” decreased by 1.5%, to 91 kcal per capita per day in 2019. However, the rate of decline is too slow to meet the 2030 target.
To avoid “increasingly dangerous and in some cases irreversible climate impacts”, the process of phasing out coal as a source of electricity should accelerate, according to the report, by about six times, and the decline in annual deforestation rates should be 2.5 times faster. The expansion of public transport is happening six times faster.
The report says investment in global climate finance “should grow 10 times faster,” about $460 billion a year over this decade.
Among the encouraging signs, the report cites the rise in carbon-free energy use and the rapid shift to electric vehicles.
According to Andrew Steer, president of the Bezos Earth Foundation, who co-authored the study with the World Resources Institute and tracks climate action, the report should evoke two emotional things: “First, a sense of shame and anger that we failed to meet our commitments. Secondly, a sense of hope and the possibility of change. A reality that is within reach and can lead to a healthier economy, healthier citizens and a healthier society.”
Experts believe that their report will be an “invaluable tool” for the UN Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Egypt in November, as well as for governments, civil society and business.