Together, the five largest meat and dairy companies are already responsible for more GHG emissions than Exxon, Shell or BP, a new report reveals.
The joint report published by GRAIN and the IATP also stressed a lack of transparency in reporting, with most of the top 35 global meat and dairy producers under-reporting or failing to report their emissions. It cites the influence of agribusiness on climate and agriculture policy as a major barrier for government action in key meat exporting countries.
It also questions the strength of commitments by companies seeking to reduce their emissions while also increasing production, outlining that reductions in production and consumption in meat exporting countries will be essential to meet global efforts on climate change.
The report shows that, despite the efforts of other sectors to ramp up efforts to de-carbonise, the meat and dairy industry could swallow as much as 80% of the carbon budget by 2050.
This gives a new perspective on which industries are most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. As the traditional view of fossil-fuel being the main culprit shifts to encompass a wider range of sectors, how might this change where governments, businesses and entrepreneurs channel their efforts to tackle climate change?
How will large meat producers respond to their growing share of emissions? How can they shift their core business models to reduce climate impact, whilst also ensuring long-term business viability?
Forum for the Future is addressing some of these questions in its project, the Protein Challenge 2040. Find out more here.