United Nations-backed organization Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)—an independent network bringing sustainability into investment practices—is urging investors to back plant-based products.
In a new PRI report, entitled Inevitable Policy Response, the group discusses policies that will likely be implemented by 2050 in order to mitigate climate change. It also includes what impact these policies will have on the economy and financial markets.
The report describes how the 2016 Paris Agreement’s long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to below 2 °C is failing. PRI says its mission is to limit increases in global temperatures to 1.5 °C. It says this would have a more favorable impact on the planet.
Reaching 1.5 °C is “a far bigger challenge, but should remain the aspiration,” the report reads. But the forecast shows the world will overshoot the 1.5˚C target.
In light of this, PRI says investors should focus their research and development spending on key areas it calls the “Known Unknowns.”
These include hydrogen and bioenergy, low-carbon materials, and plant-based food products. The report advises investing in the latter. It says a “dietary change leading to less beef usage” is needed to reduce global warming.
The report also says deforestation will be “virtually eliminated by 2030.” This will enable investors to invest more in “nature-based solutions.”
Animal Agriculture and Climate Change
A 2019 report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also discussed the link between animal agriculture and climate change.
The report, entitled Climate Change and Land, described how eating plant-based foods was capable of mitigating climate change.
The IPCC revealed the best ways to reduce agriculture, forestry, and other land-use emissions. These include reducing deforestation and land degradation, minimizing food and agricultural waste, and by shifting towards a plant-based diet.
The report also described policy recommendations to help people reduce their meat intake. It finds that the consumption of “healthy and sustainable diets presents major opportunities” for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The IPCC advocates diets that are high in grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It also suggests consuming “meat analogues” like plant-based meat and cultured meat.