Australians shun climate-led diet changes

Most Australians are refusing to say goodbye to meat despite a growing concern about climate change.

The nation’s red meat sector accounts for 10 per cent of our green house emissions, according to the CSIRO.

However, research by Monash University has found that Australians are unwilling to sacrifice meat for a more sustainable diet.

The report compares data from this year with studies conducted in 2011, 2016 and 2020.

The study of more than 3000 found that more than 80 per cent were cautious, concerned or alarmed about climate change.

But most surveyed were reluctant to take action that required too much time or money.

“While there is growing alarm over climate change, this doesn’t always translate into action,” author Dr Lucy Richardson said.

“People tend to do the easiest things.”

A majority of people said they were taking climate action but this primarily involved switching lights off to reduce electricity use.

Fewer than 30 per cent of people had changed their diet and 40 per cent had no intention of doing so.

Eating less meat was one of the most effective ways people can curb climate change because shifting to a plant-based diet can ensure food is sustainably produced with low greenhouse gas emissions.

The report found women were more inclined to change their diet and vote on the basis of an environmental issue, while men were more likely to cut their petrol usage and install home insulation.

Regardless, fewer Australians are now dismissive or doubtful about climate change than in previous years.


Joanna Guelas
(Australian Associated Press)


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