Global organization the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published a synopsis about its 2018 “Champion of the Earth” winners—the CEOs of brands Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, Ethan Brown and Pat O. Brown, respectively. UNEP explained that both individuals received the prestigious title for their respective innovations to displace animal agriculture—an environmentally damaging industry it states “has brought us to the verge of catastrophe.” UNEP explained that the entrepreneurs’ plant-based products are imperative to achieving climate-change goals. This week, Beyond Meat published a life-cycle analysis report conducted by the researchers at the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Resources that compared various environmental impacts of the Beyond Burger to its beef-based counterpart. The research showed that the 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. “The greenhouse gas footprint of animal agriculture rivals that that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane, and rocket ship combined,” UNEP said. “There is no pathway to achieve the Paris climate objectives without a massive decrease in the scale of animal agriculture.”
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