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FAO calls for reduced meat consumption

Livestock emissions can “quickly be cut” by 20% to 30%, according to José Graziano da Silva, director general at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Speaking at the 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture in Berlin, Graziano da Silva highlighted the need for “climate-smart” livestock production.

According to some reports he also suggested that governments should target the demand side, with policies that reduce meat and dairy consumption for example. This is the first time the FAO has made a clear statement on the need for reducing consumption, said the Food Climate Research Network.

Alternative protein sources such as fish and pulses should be explored, said Graziano da Silva.

Deep emissions reductions from livestock production are possible through the adoption of known husbandry practices such as regenerative grazing, forage selection and better recycling of nutrients and energy from livestock waste, he said.

“With improved and climate-smart practices, we can quickly put in place more sustainable and ‘greener’ livestock supply chains,” Graziano da Silva said. At last year’s climate summit in Bonn (COP23) experts specifically indicated improved livestock management systems as a priority.