Replacing Half of Meat and Dairy With Plant-Based Foods Could Cut Emissions and Halt Conversion of Land to Agriculture

A fascinating new study in Nature Communications has found that replacing half of beef, pork, chicken and milk with plant-based options by 2050 could almost fully halt the destruction of forests and natural habitats for agriculture and cut global emissions by 31%.

Researchers from Austria and the United States modelled food systems to look at the impacts of different levels of alternative protein uptake and found the climate benefits could double if the spared agricultural land was restored as forest.

Governments around the world must urgently invest in the R&D and infrastructure needed to reduce the cost of plant-based foods in order to realise this potential.