What we eat, and meeting our climate change commitments

What we eat, and meeting our climate change commitments

Meat, cheese and other protein sources

In the face of the climate emergency, the Scottish Government is aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 and 90% by 2040. It has been estimated that the food supply chain is responsible for 20% of global carbon emissions. Changing our diet is now seen as one of the key areas to combat climate change.

Some of the most environmentally intensive products are those sourced from animals due to the high emissions associated with livestock production. However, persuading consumers to eat less meat is not easy; many people simply like eating meat. Others have a concern that eating less meat could impact their health due to a reduction in protein intake.

Research from the Rowett Institute had demonstrated that the amount of protein available to consumers in the UK is twice the amount for dietary requirements. In the UK many people do not eat sufficient fibre, replacing some meat consumption with plant-based and wholegrain foods would benefit health and help to reduce emissions.

Changing diets to lessen the impact on the environment and climate change will not be easy but doing nothing to change dietary intakes is not an option if our ambitious targets for reducing emissions are to be met.

Would you like to read more? Our full blog was originally post here

This research was conducted by Professor Jennie Macdiarmid

Research funded by the Scottish Government as part of the Strategic Research Programme