Researchers call on governments to purchase plant-based proteins to help bring about cascading climate change changes.
Eating more plant-based food would mean less land is needed for livestock farming.
Researchers have proposed that governments should require prisons, schools, and hospitals to serve more vegetarian burgers, fillets and sausages to bring about a radical shift in the global agricultural industry.
They identified the public procurement of plant based protein as “a super leverage point” which would trigger cascading change throughout the global food systems.
According to a Report by sustainability consultancy Systemiq, in partnership with University of Exeter in the UK, serving more plant-based food in public institutions will help the alternative protein industry to scale up, bring down costs and also boost the popularity of the products among the public.
If vegan alternatives replace 20 percent of the meat sold worldwide, then up to 8,000,000 square kilometers of land currently used for livestock production could be redeployed to climate-positive projects, according to Tim Lenton, a University of Exeter researcher who contributed to this report.
He says, “you get a real disproportionate reduction in the land use demand which is a major source of emissions.” Then, you can use the land for reforestation and afforestation or rewilding.
The report identifies three “super lever points” as small interventions which can lead to a cascade decarbonisation.
Another option would be to mandate that at least 25% of the ammonia fertilizer be produced using green hydrogen, according to the