Changes in GHG Emissions of Protein Substitution from Conventional to Alternative Sources
Anjali PrashadRamanujan College, University of Delhi
Food production, directly and indirectly account for over 26% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) annually from which animal products account for almost 60% of food-related emissions and 16% of global annual GHG emissions. Multiple projections suggest the food demand for animal products to increase further by 35% by 2050 and thus the urgency for substituting alternative proteins to, at least, animal proteins. In this study we examine GHG emissions from production and consumption of conventional and alternative proteins. The prime focus of the study is to assess how the transition from conventional to alternative protein sources impacts the GHG emissions. We attempt this comparison between eight conventional sources of protein and six alternative sources, across a panel of three areas viz., India, United Kingdom, and European Union. Among the conventional sources, beef-veal and sheep meat were found to be top contributors to GHG emissions across the panel. In case of alternative sources, rice was observed to account for highest emissions. Comparing emissions with respect to the possible switch between given alternatives to conventionals, overall, our results suggest pulses and chickpea to be the best alternative substitutes of beef-veal and sheep meat to achieve substantial emission reduction in the three regions. Moreover, significant variations in emission reductions from substitution seem to emerge at both production and consumption level.
Jointly with Basanta Kumar Pradhan, Barnali Das and Bipasha Gosh