Scientists from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg in Sweden are calling for a 50% reduction in European beef consumption to help tackle climate change effects explaining that if European consumers reduced their beef consumption it would help the EU reach its 2050 climate change targets. They say that the EU can reach its target of limiting climate change to 2°C by 2050 if beef consumption in Europe reduced by 50%. The research paper says that beef production in the EU accounts for 36% of greenhouse gas emissions and 48% of both methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the total European agri-food sector.
Comparatively, the study estimates the production of dairy products such as milk, butter and cheese to account for 23% of greenhouse gas emissions and 28% of emissions for both methane and nitrous oxide from the total European agri-food sector. Pork production accounts for 7.2% of greenhouse gas emissions and 8.5% of methane and nitrous oxide emissions, while poultry production accounts for 2.7% of greenhouse gas emissions and just 2.2% of methane and nitrous oxide emissions
As such, the study recommends that if European consumers were to reduce their beef consumption it would help tackle climate change. It says that pork and poultry consumption could remain at similar levels while dairy consumption can also remain at current levels but changes in the processing technology will be needed in order to reduce emissions levels