Raising the price of meat to reduce consumption is an essential part of our fight to keep rising global temperature in check, a new report says. The paper, published by London think tank Chatham House, says that “a shift to healthier patterns of meat-eating could bring a quarter of the emissions reductions we need to keep on track for a two-degree world.” However, as government officials converge on Paris to achieve a “universal and binding agreement on climate”, meat will play a far bigger role at the catering table than at the conference table.


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Though the paper reports that “reducing global meat consumption will be critical to keeping global warming below the ‘danger level’ of two degrees Celsius,” just 21 of 120 countries involved in the talks include meat consumption in their reduction goals. In fact, global meat consumption is likely to rise 75 percent by 2050, the report says.

The problem stems from a lack of public awareness about the connection between diet and climate change, trapping us in a “cycle of inertia”. “Governments fear the repercussions of intervention, while low public awareness means they feel little pressure to intervene,” the report says.

Related: Infographic: The true environmental cost of eating meat

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Among a varied list of recommendations, including raising public awareness, making meat alternatives more readily available, and establishing international guidelines for a healthy sustainable diet, one solution stands out. The report recommends raising the relative price of meat, via taxation or removal of subsidies to meat and livestock feed growers, while lowering the price of sustainable alternatives. Whatever the solution, “the overall message remains clear,” the report says. “Globally we should eat less meat.”

Via Take Part

Steak images via , cattle image via Derekbalsley, veggie burger image via bradley j.