In its most recent report, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that aggressively adjusting climate change goals is a necessity, as current greenhouse gas emissions will result in a climate catastrophe in as little as 12 years. The report was compiled by 91 authors, is based on 6,000 scientific sources, and outlined several initiatives necessary to limit global warming to a new goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius—as opposed to the 2 degrees Celsius, previously set forth in the Paris Agreement—including an aggressive plan to reduce global reliance on current methods of animal agriculture. While the IPCC report does not explicitly advise a global shift toward plant-based foods, it outlines a necessity to drastically reduce land and water use, along with greenhouse gas emissions, in the agricultural sector worldwide. Last month, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) named Patrick O. Brown and Ethan Brown—CEOs of plant-based brands Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, respectively—“Champions of the Earth” for their efforts in combating climate change by creating innovative plant-based foods. Recent figures compiled by the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Resources revealed that a vegan Beyond Burger generates 90 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, requires 46 percent less energy, has more than 99 percent less impact on water scarcity, and 93 percent less impact on land use than a ¼ pound patty of beef.
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