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UN Body Report Urges To Adopt Plant-based Diet To Fight Climate Change

Rising global warming is a matter of grave concern and it has taken a toll on the world. A report by a United Nations (UN) body - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) explains the benefits of adopting sustainable farm practices, plant-based food habits and making better use of the land. The report urges people to opt for more sustainable meat and dairy-free diet.

Scientists have always pointed out how agriculture-related emissions affect nature. They mostly come in the form of methane and nitrous oxide, because of the use of synthetic fertilisers and fuel in farms, burning crop residue etc.

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Methane emission is one of the most lethal emissions. Cattle and rice fields cause half of all emissions of methane. Meat production, also adds to the GHG (Green House Gas) emission as it needs more water compared to the production of food grains.

107 leading scientists from 52 countries worked on this report. They assessed around 7,000 papers on different aspects of climate change and the factors that prompt the lethal effects of it.

Featuring more plant-based food such as legumes, coarse grains, nut and seeds, fruits and vegetables may help to deal with the risk and challenges of climate change, the report suggests. Sustainable farm practices such as managing water wisely, building and maintaining healthy soil, minimizing air, water and climate pollution while farming can go a long way.

"The IPCC does not recommend people's diets. What we have pointed out on the basis of the scientific evidence is that there are certain diets that have a lower carbon footprints," mentioned Jim Skea, co-chair of one of the working groups of the IPCC.

The negative effects of unsustainable farm practices will impact future generations. "Food security will be increasingly affected by future climate change through yield declines - especially in the tropics - increased prices, reduced nutrient quality, and supply chain disruptions", explained Priyadarshi Shukla, another co-chair of the IPCC working group, India.

The UN 2019 Climate Summit is scheduled to be held this September. The conference, referred to as 'Climate Action Summit 2019', will focus on six areas: energy transition, climate finance and carbon pricing, industry transition, nature-based solutions, cities and local action, and resilience. It will witness discussions, create action plans and motivate the governments, non-governmental organisations and citizens to take active parts in saving the environment.

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