New Report Calls For Policy Support For Alternative Proteins In Europe

New Report Calls For Policy Support For Alternative Proteins In Europe - Carbon Herald
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Policy support for alternative proteins holds the potential to revolutionize the food landscape in Europe, freeing up vast swathes of land and providing more space for natural carbon sinks, among other benefits, according to a recent study by London-based think tank Green Alliance.

Commissioned by the Good Food Institute Europe (GFI Europe), the report A New Land Dividend underscores the pivotal role of supportive measures in fostering a shift towards novel proteins, potentially bringing the continent to levels of self-reliance not seen in three decades.

The authors argue that the adoption of plant-based, cultivated, and precision-fermented proteins, facilitated by appropriate policies, could yield manifold benefits.

These include substantial cost reductions associated with carbon removal, a notable expansion of nature restoration initiatives, and the surpassing of the targets of the European Union (EU)’s Farm to Fork strategy.

Covering 10 major agricultural nations in Europe—Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, the research highlights that these countries currently depend heavily on imported land for food production.

However, embracing alternative proteins, which require significantly less land than traditional meat and dairy production, could enable these nations to eradicate their reliance on food imports entirely.

Relevant: Carbon Gap Launches New Carbon Removal Policy Tracker For Europe

The potential benefits of this shift to alternative proteins are extensive, the authors of the report explain.

In the most optimistic scenario, up to 44% of domestic land and 57% of foreign land currently used for imports could be freed up.

This liberation of land would not only enhance self-sufficiency but also bolster carbon removal efforts, expand agroecological farming, and create space for wildlife habitats, aligning with EU goals for nature restoration and carbon neutrality.

According to the study, farmers stand to gain from the carbon removal market, as they would have more space to expand natural carbon sinks.

This would eliminate the necessity for engineered carbon removal methods, ultimately resulting in savings of $22.7 billion (€21 billion) annually by 2050.

Remarkably, this amount is nearly half of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy budget, with 82% of the current allocation directed towards supporting animal agriculture.

Read more: EU To Provide $30M For Carbon Removal Projects

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