IATP Study: How big meat and dairy are heating up the planet

„The world’s biggest meat and dairy companies could surpass ExxonMobil, Shell and BP as the world’s biggest climate polluters within the next few decades. At a time when the planet must dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, these global animal protein giants are driving consumption by ramping up production and exports. GRAIN and IATP examined the world’s largest 35 companies and found that most are not reporting their GHG emissions data and few have set targets that could reduce their overall emissions. We need to urgently build food systems that meet the needs of farmers, consumers and the planet. But to do so, we must break the power of the big meat and dairy conglomerates and hold them to account for their supersized climate footprint.

New research from GRAIN and IATP shows that:
• Together, the world’s top five meat and dairy corporations are now responsible for more annual greenhouse gas emissions than ExxonMobil, Shell or BP.
• By 2050, we must reduce global emissions by 38 billion tons to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. If all other sectors follow that path while the meat and dairy industry’s growth continues as projected, the livestock sector could eat up 80% of the allowable GHG budget in just 32 years.
• Most of the top 35 global meat and dairy giants either do not report or underreport their emissions. Only four of them provide complete, credible emissions estimates.
• Fourteen of the 35 companies have announced some form of emission reduction targets. Of these, only six have targets that include supply chain emissions, yet these emissions can account for up to 90% of total emissions. The six companies that do pledge cuts in supply chain emissions are
simultaneously pushing for growth in production and exports, driving their overall emissions up regardless of their intention to reduce emissions per kilo of milk or meat produced.

To avert climate catastrophe, we must reduce production and consumption of meat and dairy in overproducing and overconsuming countries and in affluent populations globally, while supporting a transition to agroecology.

More information here. Download PDF of IATP study „Emissions impossible: How big meat and dairy are heating up the planet“ (July 2018) here.

IWEIATP Study: How big meat and dairy are heating up the planet