What’s On Your Plate vs. What’s In Your Car

The head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, speaks this evening in England to supporters of an anti-factory farming group called Compassion in World Farming. In advance of the lecture, Pachauri told a BBC reporter that:

“The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that direct emissions from meat production account for about 18% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions,” …as opposed to 13% from transportation.

He suggested that eating less meat could have a more dramatic impact than any other personal action against climate change. The FAO figure, by the way, includes not only the methane farm animals produce, but also the impacts of clearing forests for farm land, transporting fertilizer and other material, and the emissions from farm vehicles.

Would you be willing to eat less meat if it could make a difference in global warming?

By the way, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning IPCC has just turned 20 years old. It re-elected Dr. Pachauri as its leader for another term. He’ll have his work cut out for him, with the latest climate change talks wrapped up in Accra, Ghana and the next round set for this December in Poznan, Poland.