“We know the main causes of global warming are the burning of fossil fuels for energy, the burning of fossil fuels for transportation, methane emissions from livestock and the use of chemical fertilisers,” she said.
“If we want to address global warming as consumers then we have to find alternatives, which some people have done through solar or renewable energy in their homes, sustainable forms of transport and changing their diet.”
Dr Sequeira said while a 100 per cent plant-based diet would reduce emissions, people could also reduce their footprint on the environment simply by reducing the amount of meat and dairy they consumed on a daily basis.
“If citizens are willing to change their own diet and do something then that’s great, but we need businesses to follow,” she said.
CSIRO principal research scientist Dr Brad Ridoutt doubted a vegan world was attainable but said people could improve their health and relieve the environment by reducing the amount and types of foods they ate.
He said cutting out or limiting discretionary foods such as alcohol, cake and pastry could help.
“People are consuming far too much food and food energy – there is a correlation between how much you eat and emissions, as well as food waste,” he said.
He said traditional diets were being replaced by western diets, with overconsumption of livestock products affecting environmental sustainability.