Global meat demand projection: Quo Vadimus?

Junwen Jia, Terence Peter Dawson, Fang Wu, Qinmei Han, Xuefeng Cui

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Meat demand is a crucial part of limiting the rise in global temperature below 1.5 °C or, at least, 2 °C and has an important role in maintaining public health. We combined machine learning with comprehensive meat consumption drivers to analyze and project meat demand both in history (1961–2019) and future scenarios (2020–2100). Our results revealed the disproportionate climate impacts of meat consumption in the West. The country group, Western Countries, was the biggest consumer in history, consuming 38% of global meat cumulatively but accounting for only 14% of the world population from 1961 to 2019. Our projections show that global total meat demand will decline in this century under most future scenarios. The East Asia & Pacific region is expected to contribute 56%–125% of global meat demand decline, but the region is used to being deemed the main driver of many current dramatically rising environmental problems. On the contrary, meat demand in Western Countries may be more likely to increase by 15%–71% between 2020 and 2100. However, both the general public and governments in Western Countries seem reluctant to promote lifestyle changing to mitigate climate change. Thus, it is essential to take measures to limit the negative environmental impacts of increasing meat demand. Especially western high-income countries need to take proportional responsibility for international cooperation to reduce meat consumption for climate change mitigation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number139460
Early online date23 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2023

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