The importance of climate change is getting into the limelight. With researches and studies conducted all across the world. And vegan diet or to be more precise plant diet. As in the report, it can play a key role in mitigating climate change. So the growing carbon emission especially from the meat source diet. Substantially contributing to the average global temperature.

Deal with climatic change, which is not an easy goal. Thus, it takes a lot of factors into consideration. Such as the national and global economy, ongoing development, population control, resource optimization.

According to the IPCC report, if we want to mitigate climate changes. Then we have to shift to the plant diet for the well-being of planet earth.

As per the report of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), we need to focus more on plant diets to tackle climate change. Since the report collects evidence of land use patterns and how we use them. That’s why the area includes forests, agricultural fields, the urbanization process. And all these factors are contributing to climate change. IPCC is a part of the United Nations, in Geneva, works on global climate change issues.

In this report, IPCC links land use to climate change i.e. how we are using the land, how it is affecting climate change? And how they are interdependent on each other? Because of the relationship between land and climate change, land use is changing over the period of time.

How Land Use Affects Climate Change?

Since soil is on the land and plant, trees, forest bloom on it. So all these are helping in absorbing carbon for photosynthesis process emission. Thus making soil a source of the sink.

Though the overall content of carbon emission balances in the atmosphere like this. Therefore the large-scale land use such as deforestation, urbanization. Increasing cropping pattern is adding direct impact to greenhouse gases which are increasing abruptly. Due to which the sinking process is reducing and the source is increasing.

Through this report, we need to consider global land use & rethink its use. Because we need to lower the emission of greenhouse gases. As it is contributing more towards global warming and mitigating climate change.

Also, the report explains that the plant diet is better in comparison to the meat diet. Because a major part of the land relates to human food sources.

A major part of the world’s meat diet comes from beef. And for this cattle need to be grown, they provide diet, grazing land. Under this process plants and trees will be cut down. And therefore, the IPCC recommends the countries where meat consumption is more. To reduce it and better to shift on plant diet if they want to deal with climate change.

According to the report, land acts in two ways:

(i) land as a source of carbon emitter and
(ii) land as a source of carbon absorber. So in both ways land is working as an emission source and absorption source. Activities like agriculture, cattle farming, and rearing are the major source of methane and nitrous oxide contributors in the atmosphere. Which is more harmful than CO2 emission and makes land a source.

Role of Meat and Animal Based Diet in Climate Change

According to a study by Oxford University, London, people who consume animal meat in their primary diet accounts for approx. two times dietary carbon emissions daily as compared to vegetarians and about 2.5 times in comparison to vegans.

The study also establishes the results that those who eat more than 100 gm of animal meat daily, develop around 7.2 kg of CO2 gas per day, although vegetarians and vegans contribute around 3.8 kg and 2.9 kg of CO2, respectively. With a rough estimate from these results, the dietary carbon emissions for non vegetarians are 50 – 54 % greater than the vegetarians and 99 -102 % more than the vegans.

And these figures surely make us think about climate change and to bring a change in our diet. In another study which got published in new scientist magazine, if a person shifts to a vegan diet, he/she can reduce the carbon emission by 60 % at an individual level.

How Plant Based Diet is Beneficial in Climatic Change

According to the An IPCC Special Report on climate change, vegan diet can contribute in reducing climate change through:

  • Expanding the food production capacity, the choice of vegan diets, and reducing food waste, can cut down the demand for land use.
  • Adoption to a variety of organic plant based food systems can curtail the risks of climate change.
  • Balanced diets from a wide variety of plant-based food, such as those based on coarse grains, legumes, fibrous fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds reflect a big opportunity for adaptation and mitigation while processing momentous mutual assistance in the context of human health.
  • Shifting to less green house gases emission diets which can be supported by local production and self-help groups.
  • If we talk about land use management for maintaining pastures, growing deforestation is resulting in the emission of green house gases as we are reducing the land sink.
  • Till we will not sustainably manage the land, global warming will continue to rise and our global aim to bring down the global temp by 1.5 degrees Celsius will not be achieved.
  • As deforestation is being done for pastures to raise the cattle and they are in itself are carbon emission intensive producing methane in a large amount.
  • The manufacturing of animal feed, managing water, and electricity consumption especially of the slaughter house with processing and packaging of meat is contributing to climate change.
And that is why the report suggests shifting on the plant based diet which will create major opportunities for adapting and mitigating climate change.

As per the report, if dietary changes from animal meat to plant based diet are achieved by 2050, millions of square kilometers of land will be free, and global carbon emission will be reduced by 8 billion tonnes annually. Though the experts have not elaborated on the dietary habits and other factors in the report.