National Post

Eating less meat won’t curb climate change
National Post

Eating less meat will not reduce global warming, and reports that claim it will are distracting society from finding real ways to beat climate change, a leading air quality expert said on Monday.

« We certainly can reduce our greenhouse gas production, but not by consuming less meat and milk, » Frank Mitloehner, an air quality expert at the University of California-Davis, said as he presented a report on meat-eating and climate change at a conference of the American Chemical Society in California.

Blaming cows and pigs for climate change is scientifically inaccurate, said Mr. Mitloehner, dismissing several reports, including one issued in 2006 by the United Nations, which he said overstate the role that livestock play in global warming.

The notion that eating less meat will help to combat climate change has spawned campaigns for « meatless Mondays » and a European campaign launched late last year, called « Less Meat Less Heat. »

« Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries. » Developing countries « should adopt more efficient, Western-style farming practices, to make more food with less greenhouse gas production, » Mr. Mitloehner added.