Climate Action

New report warns that Europe’s meat and dairy production must halve by 2050

A report has warned that Europe must halve their meat and dairy production by 2050 to ensure sustainability of the livestock sector.

  • 17 September 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

A report has warned that Europe must halve their meat and dairy production by 2050 to ensure sustainability of the livestock sector.

The report, co-authored by Professor Allan Buckwell and Elisabet Nadeu for RISE, is calling for policy makers to note the effects of the livestock industry.

Launching the report Janez Potocnik, the EU’s former environment commissioner, said: “With this report we aim to call upon policy makers to use the range of policy tools at their disposal to support the sector through a necessary and inevitable transition.”

The Rural Investment Support for Europe (RISE) foundation is an independent foundation that strives to support a sustainable and international rural economy across Europe.

The livestock industry is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, notably adding methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere and has the world’s largest land footprint. The report says the sector has also impacted on biodiversity and human health.

Presently, people in Europe are eating twice as much meat as they should be, says the report. This is creating devastating effects, not only on greenhouse gas emissions but the amount of water being used to keep up with this demand. To produce bovine meat, which refers to cattle, it requires 15415 litres of water per kilogram. 

Earlier this year, Greenpeace UK published a report that also demanded the production of meat and dairy be halved to keep the Paris Agreement on track and to avoid dangerous climate change.

This news follows Michael Gove, Secretary for the Environment, announcing a new agricultural bill that promises to ‘liberate’ the UK agricultural food sector and invest in the environment.

To read the report in full click here.