2040 climate target – EU Commission half-heartedly recognises the role of shifting diets

The European Commission has released a communication outlining the initiation of the process to establish a 2040 intermediary climate target on the path to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Notably, the final text excludes references to a 30% reduction in non-CO2 emissions from agriculture and diminishes acknowledgment of the role of lifestyle changes, including dietary shifts, in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

This scaling back follows recent farmers’ protests across Europe, prompting policymakers to make compromises and roll back climate policies. Despite these setbacks, the communication emphasizes the food industry’s role in creating environments that make healthy diets affordable and accessible for consumers. Critics argue that the Commission must address the undeniable link between dietary patterns and emissions, urging a regulatory approach to promote healthy and sustainable food choices. Stakeholders stress the importance of transitioning to plant-rich diets and improving animal welfare to meet climate, environmental, and health objectives.

Calls are made for urgent action, including the implementation of the Sustainable Food Systems law to support consumers in adopting sustainable practices.

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