New research outlines a blueprint for sustainable protein production in Asia

A new study by sustainable finance research group Asia Research & Engagement (ARE) highlights the impact of animal protein production on greenhouse gas emissions in ten Asian markets.

ARE’s new study, “Mapping the Protein Transition in Asia,” looks at animal protein production and its environmental impact in markets including China, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia. The study also explores ways to achieve climate security and resilience by reducing reliance on livestock.

The study found.

The study examines several key factors influencing animal source protein consumption, including emission intensity, production methods, and consumption-related factors. It identifies changes in GDP per capita, age population, and population as the main determinants of meat, dairy, seafood, and egg consumption.

In the analysis, the study considers three key scenarios for each market: business as usual, best case mitigation and protein transition. Across all markets, measures with the greatest mitigation potential were identified as eliminating deforestation, peaking industrial production, and scaling up new proteins.

To achieve climate security by 2060, mitigation measures are critical, research shows. This includes achieving a market share of between 40% and 90% for new proteins (depending on the specific market), and eliminating deforestation in other industrial animal production practices.

“We face a stark reality, and this research shows that even with generous mitigation measures, a business-as-usual approach will not lead to a sustainable future,” Kate Blaszak, director of protein transformation at ARE, said in a statement. A system shift is not just an option, but one that we need to embrace if we are to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, as well as many other sustainable development goals.”

“For example, due to the rapid intensification of animal production, we are witnessing environmental risks, animal exploitation, antimicrobial resistance and disease outbreaks in these countries.” According to Blaszak, this demonstrates the transition to safer but limited animal production and the expansion of new Protein production is critical to achieving climate security.


These major markets need to achieve peak industrial animal protein production by 2030 at the latest, the report said. The report also highlights excessive per capita meat and seafood consumption in many markets, often more than double the Lancet recommendation.

The study also highlights the need for protein diversification and limiting industrial animal production as critical steps towards protein security and climate security. It urges food companies, investors and governments to work towards the goals of the protein transition, which requires responsible animal production and scaling up of new proteins.