Climatarian is an easy diet that’s good for the climate and good for your health.

Simply avoiding beef and lamb in everyday meals saves a tonne of CO2e every year.
You don’t have to give up meat entirely and even if you eat Climatarian only half the time you’ll be making a real difference.

Eating Climatarian saves

the equivalent emissions from

taking six short haul flights


driving 3,500 miles

every year.

Food causes at least 24% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

Meat causes far higher emissions than plant based food and beef and lamb have a much greater climate impact than pork and poultry.
More than half the world’s crops are used to feed animals.

Livestock alone causes 18% of global emissions – more than all transport!

Not all meats are the same.

Beef and lamb have

a far higher climate impact

than pork and poultry

Source: Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK, Peter Scarborough et al., Oxford University, 2014.

Ruminants – sheep, cows, goats and deer

Grazing animals that chew the cud are called ruminants.
They have a much higher climate impact than other meats and animal products.
Food ferments in their four stomach digestive system, so they burp methane gas.
They use more land, need more energy intensive feed and produce more manure than pigs or chickens.
Crops grown for animal feed produce more nitrous oxide than crops for people. Nitrous oxide is released by fertilisers and manure and is hundreds of times more potent than CO2.
Wild deer is an exception and is considered carbon neutral so long as there has been no human intervention in its production.

Climatarians avoid beef, lamb and other ruminant meat – goat and deer. 

While we all need to eat less meat for our health and the climate,

Climatarians don’t have to give up meat entirely

and can still enjoy pork, poultry and fish for an easy mixed diet.

Pledge to Go Climatarian

Compared with other meat sources, beef production

causes 5 times more CO2e

uses 28 times more land

uses 11 times more water

Compared to staple plant foods such as potatoes, wheat and rice, beef uses/causes
causes 11 times more CO2e
uses 160 times more land
uses 8 times more water.
  • kg CO2e per mcals consumed

Source: Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs and dairy production in the United States, William H.Schlesinger, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Spot the difference.

Beef and mutton stand out high above all other foods,

emitting 60 to 70kg greenhouse gas per kg consumed.

Source: Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK, Peter Scarborough et al., Oxford University, 2014.


Of 93 different food types in the normal UK diet examined in an Oxford University study, nearly all are clustered below 10kg CO2e per kg food.
Beef and mutton stand out above all the rest, between 60 and 70kg CO2e per kg food.
Other meat products, animal fats and offals hover around the 35-40kg mark.


Large studies have revealed links between eating red and processed meat and an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.
Red meat includes ruminant and pig meat, and processed meat includes bacon, sausages, ham and salami.
While eating a small amount of red meat has been shown to be beneficial, studies agree that processed meats raise the risks.

To do your best for your health and the climate

Avoid processed meat.

It may be made with harmful nitrite preservatives.

Eat less meat overall.

Eating plants is good for your health and reduces emissions. 

Avoid wasting meat.

1kg of wasted boned beef is equivalent to 24kgs of wasted wheat. 

How to cut down

Try going meat free one or two days a week.
Or simply reduce the quantity of meat in everyday meals. Up the veg content to compensate. You’ll probably find it tastes just as good.

1.5 degrees

The latest IPCC report confirms reducing food emissions plays a vital role in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees and avoiding catastrophic climate change.
Even to have a good chance of keeping global warming within 2 degrees we need to reduce meat consumption in the developed world by 50% by 2050.
Meat consumption in the developing world is rising but remains comparatively very low.


Livestock based food production is the key source of water pollution,

competes with biodiversity and promotes species extinction.

Intensive farming

A recent report from Oxford University confirms that intensively farmed beef has a lower climate impact than free range.
Athough well managed, organically farmed grasslands act as a carbon sink which counterbalances some of the methane impacts of beef and lamb farming, the emissions are still far higher than other foods.
While cutting down on eating meat, there are ethical and health reasons for choosing high welfare, organic, free range, pasture raised meat and supporting the best farming practices.


Concerns about over fishing, threatened species, harmful PCBs, farmed fish welfare and the impact of diseases spreading from farmed to wild fish make eating fish a controversial area.
Eat only a moderate amount of sustainable fish, look for the MSC, Marine Stewardship Council, logo.
A 2016 study by Bournemouth University, UK and Universidad Estatal Penisula de Santa Elena, Equador reveals that over fishing, shark finning and whaling are likely to hasten climate change. Predator fish are needed to reduce stocks of small fish and zooplankton and limit their COemissions, while whales play an essential role in maintaining the health of sea plants that absorb CO2 .

Where does your meat come from?

Put money saved on beef and lamb towards higher welfare, organically farmed, free range pork and poultry.

Cutting down

If cutting out beef and lamb is not for you cut down.
Introduce more meat free meals into your regular diet and replace beef and lamb with pork and chicken in a few favourite recipes.
Pork mince bolognese is great, chicken lasagne, quite delicious and even cottage pie can benefit from mixing it up with pork.

More climate friendly food habits.

Shop carefully to avoid waste.
Choose seasonal, fresh, local food.
Avoid greenhouse grown and air flown food
Grow your own.

Other climate friendly climatarian diets.


If you want to choose the best diet for the planet go vegan. There is no question that a plant based diet has the lowest climate impact.


While many consider the next best thing to vegan to be a vegetarian diet including dairy products and eggs, the US Environmental Working Group, which has done a lot of work in this area, finds that a vegetarian diet which includes cheese is less climate friendly than a diet which leaves out cheese and includes chicken.


A pescatarian who adds fish to an otherwise vegetarian diet is considered to have only a 2.5% increased climate impact. However the concerns about fish stocks, harmful PCBs, farmed fish welfare and disease mentioned above apply here too.


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