IPCC report highlights role of sustainable proteins in adapting to climate change

28 February 2022

World’s top climate scientists acknowledge the role plant-based and cultivated meat could play in future-proofing our food system.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, has highlighted the role of plant-based and cultivated meat in helping to feed a growing population on a heating planet.

Today’s report lays out how the climate crisis has put pressure on food production (SPM.B.4.3/ p15), exposed millions to food and water insecurity (SPM.B.1.3/ p11), and increased the burden of food-borne disease (SPM.B.1.4/ p11).

Chapter 5 of the report highlights how making meat from plants or growing it from cells could be critical in adapting and mitigating the impact of climate change:

GFI is calling on governments around the world to invest in open-access R&D in plant-based and cultivated meat as key climate solutions that simultaneously reduce emissions and advance adaptation measures, while also addressing the increasing risk of pandemics, antibiotic resistance, and food insecurity.

Seren Kell, Science and Technology Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, said: 

“It’s encouraging that the world’s top scientists have acknowledged the role plant-based and cultivated meat could play in future-proofing our food system. Now governments need to weave these sustainable proteins into their strategies for adaptation and reducing emissions.

“The IPCC has made clear that ‘transformation of food systems is needed’ if we’re to stand a chance of feeding a growing population on a warming planet – and these foods can ease that transformation by satisfying growing demand for meat in a more sustainable way. 

“Plant-based and cultivated meat can help to make food supplies less vulnerable to extreme weather, conserve precious water resources, make balanced diets more affordable for people around the world, and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases.

“To build more resilient food systems while freeing up land to restore nature, governments around the world must invest in the research and infrastructure needed to make them accessible and affordable to all.”

Sustainable proteins can play a leading role in reducing food system emissions: