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Diet change needed to help fight climate change: UN

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 8, 2019 - Duration: 01:55s

Diet change needed to help fight climate change: UN

A U.N.

Report has found the way the world manages land, produces and eats food has to change to curb global warming or food security, health and biodiversity will be at risk.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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Diet change needed to help fight climate change: UN

BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~** Broadcasters: NONE Digital: NONE~** Protesters in Geneva were spreading a meat-free message on Thursday (August 8) as a United Nations panel said a plant-based diet can help fight climate change.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CLIMATE SCIENTIST AND IPCC CO-CHAIR, VALERIE MASSON-DELMOTTE, SAYING: ''The way we produce food and what we eat contributes to loss of natural ecosystems and declining biodiversity.

When land is degraded it reduces the soil's ability to take up carbon and this exacerbates climate change.

In turn, climate change exacerbates land degradation in many different ways.

Today, 500 million people live in areas that experience desertification.

People living in already degraded or desertified areas are increasingly negatively affected by climate change." The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found global population growth and changes in consumption patterns have led to a "perfect storm".

One where food security, health and biodiversity will be at risk, leading to a call for major changes to agricultural and eating habits.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GREENPEACE SCIENTIFIC SPECIALIST IN AGRICULTURE AND GLOBAL WARMING, DR. REYES TIRADO, SAYING: ''...to be able to protect climate and limit warming to 1.5 degrees (Celsius) and be able to restore forests and other natural ecosystems, we need to radically change our food system.

That includes reducing dramatically the amount of meat and dairy in our farms and in our diet." This week the IPCC met to finalize the report to guide governments meeting later this year in Chile on ways to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement and avoid runaway climate change.

The report says dietary changes, featuring plant-based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food, could free up several million square kilometers of land by 2050.

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