Earlier this week the UK government laid out its plans to reduce carbon emissions by 78%.
Most of the savings will be made by structural changes that include shifting to electrical cars and pivoting from oil and gas to wind and solar power.
Yet the resort’s authors acknowledge that citizens need to play a role too.
Nevertheless, it was big surprise yesterday when Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that going vegan was a key way that Britons could help to slash their personal emissions.
Kwarteng is the most senior political figure yet to endorse veganism as a potential major contributor to the battle against climate change. Up until most of the advocates for vegan diet have come from Labour, SNP and Green politicians, though there is a small but very active Consersvative vegan group.
“There are challenges in terms of people changing their lifestyle, but that is happening already, without government legislation,” Kwarteng said
“The number of people who are vegans, who are reducing their meat intake, is going up all the time. I think that there is a lot of societal change that will actually help us and drive the progress to 2035, where hopefully we will hit the 78 per cent reduction target.”
Scientists are broadly in agreement that going vegan could play a key role in helping reduce global emissions. The Vegan Society argues that if the entire world adopted a plant-based diet it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by two thirds and lead to healthcare savings and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.
More recently a new study highlighted how bottom trawling fishing could be responsible for releasing over a billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. To put that in perspective that is almost on a par with the emissions from the farming industry and more than the emissions from global aviation.