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United Nations Environment Program calls beef 'climate harmful meat'

News Agencies | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 5:41 IST

Amid all the controversy surrounding consumption of beef in India, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has come up with an expert report according to which beef is a 'climate harmful meat'.

It is very energy intensive to produce every gram of beef, on an average every hamburger results in 3 kg of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Today, saving the planet is really about ensuring sustainable consumption and meat production is unfortunately a highly energy intensive exercise.

Meat eaters in general and beef eaters in particular are among the most unfriendly to the global environment, reports the United Nations body, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome. It may come as a surprise but globally beef production is one of the leading culprits for climate change.

Some even suggest that beef is the devil or the 'shaitan' of the meat production industry. That having said, the lynching of a man on the suspicion that he consumed beef can never be justified in any society.

Experts suggest that giving up beef will reduce the global carbon footprint on earth far more than avoiding use of cars!

Here is why, if one examines the numbers closely livestock production contributes more towards global warming than does the transport sector in total, through emissions of gases that result in changing the climate.

According to FAO, the livestock sector is responsible for 18 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions as compared to the transport sectors' 15 per cent. In a study 'Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options', the FAO concludes that "the livestock sector is major player (and its contributions to climate change has) a higher share than transport".

Earth lovers are voicing their concern and shaming meat eaters, most recently Laurence Tubiana. The charismatic French Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations for the big climate summit to be held in a few weeks in Paris said, "This over consumption of meat is really killing many things (there has to be a campaign) that big meat consumers should stop that. At least try one day without meat." .

-Pallava Bagla for PTI

First published: 11 October 2015, 11:46 IST