Science/Tech

GHG Emissions Can Be Cut By Reducing Animal-Based Foods In US Diet

Per a new study, cutting all the animal-based foods in the standard Western diet by half can do as much as reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions amounting to 1.6 billion metric tons by 2030.

Reducing Animal-Based Food Can Reduce Carbon Emissions

As per a new study made by researchers at the University of Michigan and Tulane University, around 1.6 billion metric tons of climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided by the year 2030 if Americans can make the smart decision now of cutting half of all the animal-based foods in the standard U.S. diet and replacing it with plant-based selections instead.

Titled “Implications of Future U.S. Diet Scenarios on Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” the new report has been commissioned by nonprofit conservation organization Center for Biological Diversity and states that replacing half of all animal-based foods with natural plant-based alternatives can reduce America’s diet-related carbon emissions by a staggering 35 percent. When transposed to the projections made by the U.S. Census Bureau, that can amount to savings of as much as 224 million metric tons per year in 2030.

Furthermore, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 224 million metric tons is equivalent to the emissions that 47.5 million passenger vehicles make on an annual level and is equivalent to the 24 percent reduction that the U.S. needs to make in order to meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement.

However, the 50 percent reduction is made on the assumption that between now and 2030, the dietary shift would start gradually occurring.

“While a diet shift isn’t a silver bullet, it could play an important role in curbing climate change. This research shows that replacing only half of our animal-based food consumption with plant-based alternatives could account for nearly a quarter of the reductions necessary for the U.S. to meet a Paris Agreement target,” Martin Heller, lead author of the study and a research specialist at U-M’s Center for Sustainable Systems at the School for Environment and Sustainability, said.

Per Heller, the shift is important if we are to secure a future not just for the planet, but for all of us as well.

Carbon A new study predicts that by the end of the century humans might become dumber because of the significantly high levels of carbon dioxide. Pixabay

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