This story was originally published by The Guardian and appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Meat consumption should be reduced to the equivalent of about two burgers a week in the developed world, and public transport expanded about six times faster than its current rate, if the world is to avoid the worst ravages of the climate crisis, research has suggested.

Rates of deforestation must also be rapidly reduced, and phasing out coal must happen about six times faster than is currently being managed. Heavy industries such as cement and steel are not moving fast enough in cutting their emissions, and the rapid growth of renewable energy and electric vehicle adoption must be maintained.

The State of Climate Action 2022 report examined global progress on 40 indicators that would be key to halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, in line with the goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels.

The researchers found a gloomy picture, with just over half the indicators well off track and five heading in the wrong direction.

The indicators of most concern were the use of gas, which is increasing rapidly at a time when it should be reduced in favour of renewable energy; steel-making, where emissions-reduction technology is not being adopted fast enough; journeys taken in passenger cars; the rate of loss of mangrove forests; and emissions from agriculture.

Ani Dasgupta, the chief executive of the World Resources Institute, one of the organizations responsible for the report, pointed to the extreme weather seen around the world this year.

“The world has seen the devastation wrought by just 1.1 C of warming. Every fraction of a degree matters in the fight to protect people and the planet. We are seeing important advances in the fight against climate change but we are still not winning in any sector,” he said.

Bill Hare, the chief executive of Climate Analytics, which also helped to produce the report, cautioned over the increasing use of gas for electricity generation around the world.

Cut #meat consumption to two burgers a week to save planet, study suggests. #ClimateChange #ClimateCrisis

“What’s particularly worrying is the rise in fossil gas power generation despite the availability of low-cost and healthier alternatives,” he said. “The ongoing crisis resulting from shocks like the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown very clearly how continued reliance on fossil fuels is not only bad for the climate but also comes with serious security and economic risks.”

The report, by the Systems Change Lab, a coalition of analyst organizations and charitable foundations, identified some bright spots. Solar power generation increased by nearly half between 2019 and 2021, while electric vehicles accounted for nearly one in 10 passenger cars sold in 2021, double the number the year before.

The analysis concluded that far greater investment was required to shift the global economy to a low-carbon footing: about $460 billion a year for the next decade in additional funds would be needed, and governments must also stop their favourable treatment of fossil fuels.

The authors called for financial institutions to stop underwriting fossil fuel production and carbon-intensive industries. The report’s findings will be presented to governments at the Cop27 UN climate summit, which begins in Egypt next month.

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“What’s particularly worrying is the rise in fossil gas power generation...." Add to that, as the article notes, insuring - and governments permitting - major new fossil fuel projects, billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies to these very profitable fossil fuel corporations who are destroying life, everyone flying everywhere as if there really is no tomorrow, the dawn of a space travel industry, the wild emissions caused by shipping of consumer goods including all those avocadoes and fast fashion, the destructive mining and manufacturing required to encourage everyone to buy a new electric car, all the electricity required from all sources to service those cars...the list of egregious destruction goes on...and on...but the conclusion and headline of this article is: Cut your meat intake down to two burgers a weeks to save the planet? A bit facile perhaps? Easier and more fashionable than jetting off to Australia or an all inclusive in Mexico? Just on food, wouldn't it be better to dust off the rather logical idea that we should eat whatever is closest to home? Why do we simply ignore the wild emissions of imported food which in so many ways is neither sustainable or secure?

I'm willing to bet an avocado when it lands on my plate has produced less emissions than a burger. And that 7 of them produce more than a red-meat-burger every day of the week.

Meat is completely unnecessary ... and bad for human and other life from every point of view I know of. I first became vegetarian by accident, over half a century ago now, and headed off to the library to make sure I wasn't on shaky ground when it came to nutrition.

As far as that goes, so are milk and eggs. But those eggs, produced "properly", as though the chickens were important, are probably less so than the other animal foods touted for their "protein" (because there's little understanding about protein), absent allegies and chemical feed, routine antibiotics, chick-stock born with cancer, etc.

There are healthy and unhealthy ways to live, and to eat. None of them involve being crammed in polluted cities, stacked dozens deep in highrises, with kids unable to play outside because there's no safe "wild" space for them to do so.

However it shakes out, big industry, especially big foreign industry, isn't going to do anything it's not forced to by government. That goes double for banks and insurance companies, that operate internationally. And triple for pension plans. The dudes who administer those things aren't doing what they do with the long-term "health" of the fund in terms of being able to pay out pensions to the contributors. Any more than banks or insurance companies are motivated by the real needs of their clientele.

On the other hand, if the human race stopped procreating tomorrow, all of our environmental destruction would cease within one lifetime.