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UN livestock emissions report seriously distorted our work, say experts

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A controversial UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on livestock emissions is under scrutiny after being accused of misusing research to downplay the impact of reducing meat consumption on cutting agricultural emissions 
• Two cited academics have demanded a retraction, claiming the report distorted their work

🔭 The context: The FAO study, released at Cop28, used outdated and systematically flawed methodologies to claim that dietary changes would minimally reduce global agri-food emissions
• The criticized study overlooked recent significant reductions in meat recommendations by various countries and excluded influential reports advocating for plant-based diets

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Livestock is a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly methane, which significantly contributes to global heating
• Accurate and unbiased reporting by influential bodies like the FAO is crucial for forming effective climate policies and achieving emissions reduction targets

⏭️ What's next: The FAO has pledged to review the contested report and engage in technical discussions with the critics 
• This controversy highlights the ongoing debate over the role of dietary changes in climate strategies and the importance of integrity in scientific reporting

💬 One quote: "The FAO’s errors were multiple, egregious, conceptual and all had the consequence of reducing the emissions mitigation possibilities from dietary change far below what they should be," said Matthew Hayek, Assistant Professor at New York University.

📈 One stat: Agriculture accounts for 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with a significant portion from livestock.

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