The EU parliament calls meat a climate threat

The EU parliament has concluded that meat consumption contributes to climate change. That is the finding after todays adoption of the climate resolution, ”2050 – The future begins today” (rapporteur: Florenz). Nevertheless, the parliament declined to demand that measures be taken to lower meat consumption. The resolution concerned how the EU will act to combat climate change. It did not contain any concrete proposals for legislation, but laid a course for the future. The parliament has determined that livestock raising and the meat industry account for 18% of the world’s greenhouse emissions.

Jens Holm, MEP GUE/NGL, Swedish Left Party, has worked in the parliament’s climate committee to negotiate the resolution:
“I had proposed demands for actions to lower meat consumption, but unfortunately the majority was not in favor,” says Holm. “I am grateful for the support of the 162 MEPs who voted in favor of demands for lowered consumption. The EU parliament missed an opportunity to take a courageous stand in defense of the environment. But that’s perhaps too much to hope for from representatives who always support agricultural subsidies, especially with regard to their own country’s farmers.”

The EU parliament indicated the future direction for several areas, including:
• More stringent long-term goals for reduced emissions in the EU – a 25-40% reduction by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050. Thus, the parliament has shown its desire to go further than the legislation on climate measures approved in December 2008’s climate package, in which the goal is a reduction of 20% by 2020.

• Acknowledgement that poor countries are the ones most severely affected by climate change and that the EU should therefore increase economic aid to developing countries’ efforts in this area.