UK Parliament Urged To Slash Meat And Dairy Consumption By 50% To Meet Climate Targets

Animal products account for 72% of the monthly food-related carbon footprint the House of Commons Catering service produces


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A charity is urging parliament to slash its meat and dairy consumption in order to meet its climate targets.

The push comes after Humane Society International/UK (HSI) commissioned an assessment of the food served to MPs by the House of Commons Catering.

It found that animal products accounted for a staggering 72 percent of the monthly food-related carbon footprint it produces.

Moreover, HSI states the House of Commons catering service could save 115 tonnes of CO2-e per month if it replaced 50 percent of its meat, dairy and fish with plant-based alternatives.

This would also reduce its overall food GHG emissions by almost a third (31 percent).

‘Avoiding catastrophic climate change’

Claire Bass is the executive director at Humane Society International / UK. In a statement sent to PBN, she said: “The science is clear that significantly reducing meat and dairy in our diets will be a key contributor to avoiding catastrophic climate change. 

“Our analysis found that animal products served in canteens and restaurants in the Commons account for an astonishing 72 percent of the total food greenhouse gas footprint. 

“If the UK hopes to meet its net-zero target by 2050, we need bold and ambitious policies and actions. 

“These should start in the corridors of power, with politicians showing the merits of eating more planet-friendly and sustainable plant-based foods.”

Bass also said that even ‘simple substitutions’ can have ‘big benefits’. For example, using oat milk instead of cow’s milk. 

She added: “With the UK hosting COP26 in November… It is essential that we get our own house in order.”

Climate targets

Recently, the UK vowed to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by more than two-thirds in the next decade to fight climate change.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the ‘ambitious’ target will set the country ‘on course to hit net zero by 2050’.

The politician said in comparison with 1990, there will be a decrease of 68 percent in annual carbon emissions by 2030.

“2021 is going to be a very important year in the fight against climate change,” Johnson said on Twitter.

The UK [is] hosting the C0P26 conference in Glasgow, and I can think of no better way to kick things off than by setting an ambitious and demanding but yet achievable goal.

“The whole world needs to act on climate change… I’m immensely proud that the UK is once again leading the way.”

*HSI/UK contacted the director of HoC Catering to provide them with the findings of the report. It also offered plant-based culinary training to their chefs as part of its  Forward Food program

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