The European Environment Agency urges a plant-based diet transition to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change

A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) highlights the importance of switching to a plant-based diet to combat climate change.

The European Climate Risk Assessment report states that the “Farm to Fork Strategy” strategy and international dietary guidelines call for reducing the consumption of animal products and switching to plant-based diets. The authors found that this would reduce freshwater consumption and reliance on imported animal feed, while enabling healthier dietary patterns.

Reducing animal product consumption will also free up large amounts of cereal crops for human consumption. This is noteworthy and significant, as numerous studies show that climate change will negatively impact food security.

The report found that climate change is likely to have significant, severe or catastrophic impacts on livestock farming, crop production, fisheries, aquaculture, human health and other sectors. In addition, the authors believe that some current EU policies, such as the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy, do not fully consider climate risks and keep pace with the times.

Countless studies in the past have confirmed the importance of a plant-based diet in combating climate change. A study published last year by prominent scientists found that removing animals from the food system could offset 68% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, while other studies have found that switching half of animal food to plant-based alternatives could halt deforestation.

A British study published last July found that a plant-based diet could reduce water use by 54%, reduce wildlife damage by 66%, and reduce methane emissions by 93%. Meanwhile, the European Scientific Advisory Committee on Climate Change recommends shifting subsidies away from livestock to reduce the production and consumption of animal food.

“Dietary shifts towards reduced consumption of animal-based products and reduced food waste could significantly increase the resource efficiency of food production and improve food security under current and future climate conditions,” says the new European Environment Agency report.