With obesity, diabetes, and hypertension on the rise, China has decided to finally take action. The Chinese Nutrition Society (CNS) has launched a nationwide campaign urging people to cut their meat consumption in half.
The campaign is called “Less Meat, Less Heat, More Life, and has enlisted celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger, director James Cameron, and actress Li Bingbing to film PSA’s that will be distributed across China.
If China is successful in doing this, it could have a massive impact on global warming, according to a new report from WildAid. Here’s why:
Right now, the average Chinese person eats roughly 170 grams of beef, pork, poultry, and lamb a day. The CNS and the Ministry of Health is telling people to cut back to 75 grams a day.
If all 1.3 billion people in China were to follow these guidelines, global agricultural emission would drop 12% and greenhouse gas emission go down 1.5%, which is more than the entire output of France and Belgium combined. This would add up to one-twelfth of the emissions cut needed to stay under the 2° Celsius threshold of the global temperature from before the age of global industrialization, according to Vox.
In the graph below, the first column shows greenhouse gas emission in 2015 based on China’s meat consumption. Then it shows how much those emissions would fall if everyone following the guidelines. The second column shows the same values projected for 2030.