The Good Food Institute and Climate Advisers co-wrote this policy brief as part of our collaboration to embed alternative proteins into domestic and international climate and land-use policy priorities.

To meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target and to protect forests and other critical ecosystems
that serve as carbon sinks, a global food system transition is necessary. Even if fossil fuel
emissions were immediately halted, global protein production alone would make meeting
the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target impossible.

A protein transition has the potential to deliver 14 to 20 percent of the emissions mitigation the world needs until 2050 to stay below 1.5°C.2

This amounts to 10 to 14 gigatonnes of CO2-eq per year of emissions mitigation compared to business as usual by 2050.3 Such a protein transition will also accelerate natural climate solutions by freeing hundreds of millions of hectares for conservation and climate-focused land management. This could be an area equal to one-quarter of the lower 48 U.S. states in size and would remove an additional five gigatons of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere.

This protein transition includes increasing the greenhouse gas efficiency of existing protein production systems and making healthy and sustainable food options far easier to access, in part by accelerating the growth of alternative proteins.

Download this brief to learn more about opportunities that exist today for policy that supports alternative proteins and climate action.