The production and consumption of meat are bringing the planet closer to the abyss. Both from the climatic and environmental point of view. Greenpeace proposes solutions.
The world must reduce meat production and consumption by 50% by 2050 to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. This is what is stated in the new Greenpeace report, which for the first time in its history examines the sector, after criticism from many activists.
The report notes that if agriculture does not change drastically, it will be responsible for 52% of global greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, 70% of which will come from meat and dairy farming. According to Eurostat, greenhouse gas emissions from the primary sector now represent 10% of the European total. The percentage is slightly higher in the world (14%).
Therefore, we are moving towards an increasing concentration, even in the old continent, of livestock. In practice, the American model has colonized the other large meat and meat-producing countries, to the extent that Greenpeace says: “ Three out of four animals raised in Europe are kept on a small number of very large farms, while the smaller farms have reduced their herds by 50% ”.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) does not seem to be moving in the right direction. On November 29, 2017, the European Commission published its Communication on the future CAP: for the EU executive, the post-2020 legislation to reduce meat consumption should simplify regulation and be based on a more flexible approach for states members. But for Greenpeace, European agricultural policies have pushed the continent into the environmental abyss. Both from the climatic and environmental point of view. Just think of the effect of meat and dairy production on biodiversity: since 1970, according to the report, the Earth has lost half of its wildlife, but has tripled its breeding population. Furthermore, intensive meat and dairy production is a major driver of deforestation, responsible for dead zones in the oceans and global degradation of freshwater basins.
Factory farming is one of the main sources of carbon emissions, water and air pollution, says Greenpeace, and causes serious health problems such as resistance to antibiotics.
This report highlights the risk of antibiotic resistance that intensive agriculture is creating. A report published on February 27 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) revealed that bacteria in humans and animals continue to show resistance to antibiotics. This issue has not yet been sufficiently analyzed, but it is about to erupt in public debate.