The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report on Climate Change and Land shows New Zealand’s efficient sheep and beef farming system can help address climate change.
Far from calling for a reduction in meat consumption, the IPCC report states that “balanced diets featuring plant-based foods, such as coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and animal-sourced food produced sustainably in low greenhouse gas emission systems, present major opportunities for adaptation to and limiting climate change”.
Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Tim Ritchie says the report clearly explains that “the question is not about eating less meat for everyone, but to adopt sustainable supply and consumption practices across a broad range of food systems.
“New Zealand’s red meat industry is based on sustainable land management, producing natural protein essential for healthy lives. We are pleased that the IPCC recognised the fundamental difference between intensive factory forms of protein production and natural pasture-based systems, at which New Zealand excels.”
The MIA notes that the IPCC Report also includes scenarios for keeping emissions to a level that meet the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5-degrees. These show that only modest reductions in biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions are needed. This has important implications for the targets in the Zero Carbon Bill currently before Parliament.