Household, International

Plant based proteins best investment for climate

According to a recent report from the Boston Consulting Group, a dollar invested in alternatives to animal products provides a far better return to the climate than electric vehicles and other initiatives.

Animal agriculture represents around 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the whole transportation sector. Since a lot of those emissions come in the form of methane, a more potent but shorter lived greenhouse gas, any reduction in animal products now will have long lasting benefits.

By 2035, they estimate that alternatives to animal proteins (foods made from plants or animal cells) will reach 11 percent of market share. Venture capital reached $5 billion in 2021.

If we remain on track for an 11% share for alternative proteins by 2035, we will see a reduction of 0.85 gigaton of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) worldwide by 2030—equal to decarbonizing 95% of the aviation industry. In comparison with other solutions, such as flying less or retrofitting existing housing stock, the economic and individual consumer tradeoffs involved in shifting to alternative proteins are relatively small.

In my view, this report doesn’t indicate we should stop investing in these other sectors. We have to do it all to reach a zero emissions society. But it is a good reminder about the importance of eating less meat and dairy.

What you can do

  • Try these alternative meat products.
  • Invest in companies that are making them.

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