Meat, dairy and climate change: Assessing the long-term mitigation potential of alternative agri-food consumption patterns in Canada

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We use a newly developed model of the entire Canadian energy system (TIMES-Canada) to assess the climate change mitigation potential of different agri-food consumption patterns in Canada. Besides a business-as-usual (baseline) scenario, we have constructed four different agri-food scenarios to assess the viability of reducing Canadian meat and dairy consumption in order to diminish Canada's agricultural sector energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our policy scenarios progressively restrict the consumption of different meat and dairy agricultural products until the year 2030. Our results suggest that the implementation of a meat and dairy consumption reduction policy would lead to a 10% to 40% reduction in agricultural GHG emissions, depending on the severity of the scenario. This translates to a 1% to 3% decrease in total Canadian GHG emissions by the year 2030. Besides these environmental benefits, health benefits associated with a reduction in meat and dairy consumption are presented as an additional source of motivation for implementing such a policy in Canada.

, 24 pages

Ce cahier a été révisé en mars 2016

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