We can tackle climate change by eating less meat, says adviser

‘We need to eat less meat to save the planet’: Vallance says there is no ‘magic’ technology to tackle climate change as he calls for different eating habits and cutting flights

  • Patrick Vallance said we can’t rely on ‘magic’ technology to solve climate change
  • Sir Patrick said tackling climate change could be as simple as not flying so often
  • He said he wants green choices to be the ‘easy choice’ as they are convenient

Tackling the climate crisis could be as simple as eating less meat and not flying so often, according to the Government’s chief scientific adviser.

Sir Patrick Vallance said the planet cannot rely on a ‘magic’ technology to solve the climate crisis.

He made the comments as he joined international scientists urging leaders to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Sir Patrick Vallance (pictured) said the planet cannot rely on a ‘magic’ technology to solve the climate crisis. He said he wants green choices to be the ‘easy choice’

Sir Patrick said he wants green choices to be the ‘easy choice’ because they are convenient and affordable, but said people can make a difference at an ‘individual level’.

He said: ‘A little bit of reduction in the amount of meat you eat, deciding not to fly as often. 

‘Those things individually, of course, are trivial impacts at the individual level, but they are huge when you aggregate them across millions and millions and millions of people. 

‘So I think the behavioural change part of this is really important.’

Almost 40 scientific leaders signed a statement ahead of the Cop26 climate talks, saying it was still possible to keep temperature rises to 1.5C – beyond which point the more severe impact of global warming would be felt.

This is only said to be possible with steep reductions in emission by 2030, and net zero carbon use by 2050.

The Government’s chief scientific adviser said tackling the climate crisis could be as simple as eating less meat and not flying so often (file image of Heathrow Airport)

The advisers say stabilising the climate would limit sea level rises and extreme weather events, improve prosperity and protect human health and nature.

The statement says limiting warming ‘will require rapid, urgent and sustained action and significant behavioural, socioeconomic and technological transformations across the world’. 

Sir Patrick said ‘the green choice needs to be the easy choice’. ‘If there’s too much of a barrier to do something, you won’t get the mass change that needs to take place,’ he added.

‘For the green choice to be the easy choice, there are a number of factors in that, including of course price – because if things don’t come at an affordable level, then it’s impossible for people to do it or there’s a barrier for people to do it. And it needs to be convenient.’

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