WHAT IF NEW YORK CITY WENT VEGAN? A CONSUMPTION-BASED APPROACH WITH JUSTICE IMPLICATIONS
MetadataShow full item record
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to humanity and the planet. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to be substantially reduced, and quickly, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as was pledged in the Paris Agreement (IPCC 2022). However, current emissions reporting structures fail to report a large piece of GHG emissions data, consumption-based emissions, especially from food. Food production, specifically animal agriculture, is a leading cause of global GHG emissions, deforestation, and resource consumption. Proper emissions reporting is necessary if we are to quantify these consumption-based emissions and reduce our carbon footprint adequately. This white paper details the current emissions reporting structure in New York City and showcases a detailed estimate of the city's dietary GHG emissions with further analysis of emissions reduction potential from transitioning to a vegan diet. Dietary emissions factors from previous research were utilized along with current New York City population data and dietary patterns to quantify and analyze New York City's dietary emissions. The results indicate that converting the entire New York City population to a vegan diet would reduce the city's annual, consumption-based dietary GHG emissions by 54%. To encourage dietary shifts to more plant-based foods increased education and awareness, conscious consumerism, agricultural reform, and policy initiatives will be needed.