Canada’s 2030 climate targets are achievable if Canadians move to a more plant-based diet


Our new report studies the impact of animal agriculture and meat consumption on Canada’s 2030 and 2050 climate targets. 

As concerns grow about Canada’s ability to hit its 2030 climate targets, World Animal Protection, in conjunction with Navius Research, released a new report: Animal-sourced food consumption and Canada’s emissions targets 

The report demonstrates the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions if Canadians move from a high-meat consumption diet to a low-meat consumption one (a 50% reduction by 2030 and an 80% reduction by 2050). Doing so would put Canada back on track to meet its 2030 and 2050 climate targets.  

This research is the first of its kind showing the potential to meet Canada’s climate targets through diet-change initiatives. It modeled three scenarios: high, medium, and low animal food consumption. By moving to the low consumption scenario, agriculture emissions will be 16% lower in 2030 and 29% lower in 2050 in the low animal consumption relative to the high animal consumption scenario.  

The report has also found if Canada’s future animal consumption is lower, it will cost 11% less for the economy to comply with the 2030 emissions target compared to a future in which animal consumption remains at current levels. For the agriculture sector, that means $6.3 billion lower in 2030 and $12.5 billion lower in 2050. 

Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence demonstrating animal agriculture as a significant source of GHG emissions, the government has failed acknowledge this by calling on Canadians to change our diets.  

The Government of Canada has a huge opportunity and an important role to play in supporting Canadians to adopt more planet-friendly diets.  

The Canada Food Guide is great example of how they can do this. The latest edition of the guide promotes a more plant-based diet and acknowledges animal agriculture as a major source of GHG emissions. Promoting the Canada Food Guide is an easy action the government can take to help Canadians transition to towards sustainable eating. 

The impacts of meat consumption and animal agriculture on our climate are why World Animal Protection launched its Plan Meatless Better campaign this summer. 

Canadians can go to to answer a few questions about their eating habits and receive a personalized and customized plan and set of recipes tailored to their preferences. 

Experts predict that without urgent and drastic shifts in global meat consumption, agriculture will consume the entire world’s carbon budget necessary for keeping global temperature rises under 2°C by 2050. 

Moving Canada to a low meat consumption model for animals, the planet and your health

Currently, meat and other animal products make up a huge 57% of the Canadian plate. All the fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes (including meat replacements) we eat, account for the rest. Assuming most meals currently include some form of animal products, here is what a week of dinners could look like, in the three scenarios by 2050.

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Learn more about Navius Research

World Animal Protection’s Animal-sourced food consumption and Canada’s emissions targets report uses a customized version of Navius Research’s existing energy economy model, gTech, which simulates the effects of energy and climate policy on technology adoption, energy use, GHG emissions and the economy.  The model was used to explore the impacts of shifting consumer food consumption patterns and their impacts on Canada’s climate goals. 

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Further reading

In the news:

Our ambassador and eco-journalist, Candice Batista, was on Breakfast Television last week to talk about our recent report’s findings on the impact of eating meat, its effect on climate change and how people can introduce and plan a plant-based diet in their meals with our Plan Meatless Better campaign. Watch the clip.

Pigs in cages
A panel of experts at the Bonn Climate Conference