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UN Places Food Animal Industry on Par With Fossil Fuels as Contributor to Climate Change

The UK Telegraph reports that the United Nations International Panel of Sustainable Resource Management has a new report calling the food animal industry a major contributor to harmful climate change, comparable only to fossil fuel consumption.

Old news to most vegans, sure, but it always helps when big, trusted organizations impartial to animal-rights come out with this stuff.

Though the Telegraph trumpets “meat,” it does sound like the UN report also blames the dairy industry (unlike Food, Inc.!). And it’s nice to see some thoughts about systematic economic incentivizing:

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, said … “The Panel have reviewed all the available science and conclude that two broad areas are currently having a disproportionately high impact on people and the planet’s life support systems—these are energy in the form of fossil fuels and agriculture, especially the raising of livestock for meat and dairy products.”

Mr Steiner said governments could encourage people to eat less meat by reforming the system of taxes and subsidies so vegetarian food is cheaper.

“Smart market mechanisms, more intelligent fiscal policies and creative policy-making are among the options for internalising the costs of unsustainable patterns. Some tough choices are signalled in this report, but it may prove even more challenging for everyone if the current paths continue into the coming decades,” he added.

(The Telegraph‘s link-free old media approach makes it hard to provide any supporting details, and the UN IPSRM’s own site doesn’t seem to mention the report yet.)

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