Vegetarians can save the planet
Updated: 08:37, Thursday November 5, 2009
We’ve always been told to eat our greens, but now there’s another incentive – saving the planet.
Climate change campaigner Al Gore believes turning vegetarian could aid the battle against global warming.
But he’s stopped short of asking everyone to turn their back on meat, acknowledging getting a global agreement on fighting climate change is already hard enough.
The former US vice-president turned environmental campaigner said on Wednesday he agreed with the UK’s Nicholas Stern that meat eaters have contributed greatly to increased global carbon emissions.
“I’m not a vegetarian, but I have cut back sharply on the meat that I eat,” he told ABC Television from New York.
“It’s absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets around the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis – not only because of the CO2 involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process.
“You could add in the health consequences as well.”
Substituting more fruit and vegetables in an everyday diet was the responsible thing to do, he said.
“I’ve made those changes, and while I don’t go quite as far as Nick saying everybody should become a vegetarian – partly because it’s difficult enough to get the agreement without adding that on top of it – it is a legitimate point of view.”
Fruit and vegetables aside, Mr Gore was confident a global agreement can be reached when the world’s leaders meet in Copenhagen for climate change talks.
“I think we have an excellent chance of getting a framework agreement that’s binding and puts us on the right road,” he said.
Much depended on the US’s ability to pass climate change legislation before December, but he said the odds were favourable that would happen.