“We need to take individual action on all fronts to limit global temperatures to 1.5-2C warming, and the biggest thing an individual can do is adopt a vegan diet,” Dr Joseph Poore, Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Food Sustainability Analytics at Oxford University.
During a webinar hosted by Plant Based Treaty and Vegoforum, Dr. Poore demonstrated that greenhouse gas emission by recycling saves 0.2 tonnes CO2eq, and avoiding a transatlantic flight saves 1.7 tonnes CO2eq; however, adopting a vegan diet saves the most, 2.9 tonnes CO2eq.
Dr. Poore contributed to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Working Group III report. His 2018 research, Reducing Food’s Environmental Impacts through Producers and Consumers, which he co-authored with Thomas Nemecek, was widely highlighted throughout the report.
According to the IPCC, switching to plant-based diets may cut land usage by 3.1 billion ha, food-related GHG emissions by 6.5 GtCO2-eq yr-1, acidification by 50%, eutrophication by 49%, and freshwater withdrawals by 19%.
Every vegan could save 4,700m2 of land, providing habitat for five birds, 15 animals, 20 reptiles, 100 amphibians, and absorbing 150 tonnes of carbon dioxide into plants and soil.
Over a thousand people registered for the webinar, including councillors from over 35 UK town and city councils.
Dr. Poore stated that the Plant Based Treaty has focused on getting cities to sign up, which is a really exciting and innovative idea, and to take carbon dioxide out of the air, adding that the world needs diet change to free up and liberate large amounts of land for rewilding; both natural vegetation growth, rewilding to bring species back, and negative emissions.
“Plant Based Treaty has focused on getting cities to sign up, which is a really exciting and innovative idea. We have to take carbon dioxide out of the air. We need diet change to free up and liberate large amounts of land for rewilding; both natural vegetation growth, rewilding to bring species back but also for negative emissions.
“There are very large benefits to cities adopting plant-based diets, it’s a really great initiative the Plant Based Treaty is doing, and I think it’s essential to get more cities signed up and get those cities delivering on what they’ve committed to,” he said.
The biologist’s new eye-opening statistical analysis demonstrates the environmental advantages of veganism among inhabitants of Edinburgh and Stockholm.
The analysis shows that, if Edinburgh embraced plant-based diets, a massive 232,000 hectares of land, the size of the Lake District National Park, could be rewilded; emissions savings would be equivalent to removing 532,000 cars from the streets. If Stockholm followed suit, an extra 176,000 hectares of land, the size of Sarek National Park, could be rewilded, and the emissions reduction would be equivalent to removing 935,000 automobiles off the road.
Dr. Poore’s next study will concentrate on vegan farming throughout Europe.
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