In a paper released by the independent think tank Green Alliance, it is described how the UK may reduce its methane emissions by 42% by the end of the decade.
This amount is far higher than the 30% promise made by the UK and other nations at the COP26 summit last year. A step that could cut agricultural methane emissions by 8% is replacing meat and dairy products with more environmentally friendly options like plant proteins.
A further 8% reduction would result from changing to a healthy food plan that included more fresh produce and less protein.
The paper also lists further strategies for reducing methane output in the fields of trash, energy, and agriculture.
Since methane has an 80 times greater potential for warming than carbon dioxide in the 20 years after emission, a drastic reduction is essential.
According to research published by investor network FAIRR last year, the animal farm sector is not ready to make the switch to a more sustainable food system.
Only 18% of the animal protein producers evaluated documented any of their methane emissions, and this data was sometimes only partially complete, the organization noted.
However, according to UN data, 30% of people worldwide, and as much as 42% in some countries, support increasing plant-based diets as a climate policy.
“This report shows how creating a thriving sustainable protein industry would be a crucial step in not only meeting our targets but cementing the UK’s status as a climate champion,” said Linus Pardoe, UK Policy Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe.
“With the right investment, the UK could easily become a world leader in this growing field, providing exciting opportunities for green growth, complementing the best of British farming, and creating quality jobs.
But we need to see ambitious and coordinated measures now to make sure the UK does not fall behind other countries such as Israel and the United States.”