IPCC: plant-based and cultivated meat can play critical role in halving global emissions by 2030

5 April 2022

GFI Europe calls for public investment in sustainable proteins as the world’s top scientists recognise plant-based and cultivated meat can cut emissions, and protect nature and global health.

The world’s top scientists have named plant-based and cultivated meat as transformative solutions which can play a critical role in halving global emissions by 2030.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report takes the panel’s closest look yet at how making meat from plants and cultivating it from cells – alongside transitions in the energy and transport sectors – can significantly reduce emissions.

But the report finds that hard-to-change behaviours such as diets require a transition to more sustainable food sources (section 1.4.7). 

The Good Food Institute Europe is now calling on governments to invest in research that makes plant-based and cultivated meat as delicious and affordable as their conventionally produced counterparts, making it easier for consumers to switch to these foods and enabling sustainable proteins to deliver on their climate mitigation potential. 

The report states: 

Seren Kell, science and technology manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, said: “The latest IPCC report has made clear that nothing short of a rapid transformation of the food system is essential if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change. 

“As global demand for meat continues to grow, the world’s top scientists have recognised plant-based and cultivated meat as part of the solution. 

“Particularly in Europe and the global north, where meat consumption remains unsustainably high, governments must invest in these new ways of making meat, which require far less land and water, and cause a fraction of the emissions of conventional meat production. 

“Public funding for open-access research is crucial to enable plant-based and cultivated meat to compete with conventional animal products on taste and price, making sustainable choices easy for consumers. 

“Time is short to prevent irreversible climate breakdown and species extinction. Changing meat production is a necessary solution that works with existing consumer behaviours, while freeing up land for nature restoration and more sustainable farming practices.”

More on how plant-based and cultivated meat can play a leading role in reducing food system emissions: