U.N. Reconsiders Meat and Climate Change Report


Yesterday, we reported that University of California-Davis researcher Dr. Frank Mitloehner has documented a major flaw in a 2006 United Nations report about greenhouse gas emissions from livestock producers. Mitloehner found that the U.N.'s analysis of global transportation emissions was not as detailed as its review of meat production, creating an apples-to-oranges comparison.

We felt yesterday’s news deserved a big audience, so we circulated a statement to the media. Today, the BBC reports that the U.N. has taken notice. One of the authors of the 2006 “Livestock’s Long Shadow” report now admits that its estimates unfavorably comparing emissions from livestock farms with those from transportation—a favorite talking point of anti-meat activists—are indeed unrealistic and unfair:

Pierre Gerber, a policy officer with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, told the BBC he accepted Dr Mitloehner's criticism.

"I must say honestly that he has a point – we factored in everything for meat emissions, and we didn't do the same thing with transport," he said.

This is enormous news, and we’ll look forward to reading the U.N.’s retracted-and-revised global estimates. In the meantime, we’ll keep spreading the word that the EPA’s domestic inventory shows the U.S. livestock industry accounts for less than 3 percent of total emissions. Perhaps one day the anti-meat activists at PETA and HSUS will get the memo: We should be applauding eco-friendly American livestock farmers, not attacking them.


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