Manila Times - - World - UN NEWS

EVEN though meat pro­duc­tion is known to be a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to cli­mate change and en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion, world­wide de­mand for meat con­tin­ues to rise, said UN en­vi­ron­ment agency, UNEP, in a state­ment re­leased on Thurs­day. Ac­cord­ing to the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum, the beef and dairy in­dus­try is re­spon­si­ble for more green­house gas emis­sions than the world’s big­gest oil com­pa­nies, with the com­bined emis­sions of the top meat and dairy com­pa­nies ex­ceed­ing those of highly in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions such as Ger­many or the UK. De­spite this fact, the global meat in­dus­try con­tin­ues to grow, with the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion (FAO) pre­dict­ing a 76 per cent in global meat con­sump­tion by 2050: More meat will be eaten than ever be­fore in our his­tory. This is bring­ing about a wide range of neg­a­tive con­se­quences for the planet: meat pro­duc­tion con­trib­utes to the de­ple­tion of pre­cious wa­ter re­sources — around 1,695 litres is needed to pro­duce just one quar­ter-pounder burger — and ac­cord­ing to the Yale School of Forestry, cat­tle ranch­ing is the largest driver of de­for­esta­tion in ev­ery Ama­zon na­tion, ac­count­ing for 80 per­cent of to­tal clear­ance. Rais­ing an­i­mals takes up about 80 per­cent of agri­cul­tural land, but only con­trib­utes to 18 per­cent of the world’s calo­ries.

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