World Bank’s climate plan: Pricier red meat and dairy, cheaper chicken and veggies

By Federica Di Sario | 05/08/2024 06:22 AM EDT

“We have to stop destroying the planet as we feed ourselves,” a World Bank official said, as red meat and dairy drive CO2 emissions.

Cows and milk are out, chicken and broccoli are in — if the World Bank has its way, that is.

In a new paper, the international financial lender suggests repurposing the billions rich countries spend to boost carbon-dioxide-rich products like red meat and dairy for more climate-friendly options like poultry, fruits and vegetables. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to save the planet from climate change, the bank argues.

The politically touchy recommendation — sure to make certain conservatives and European countries apoplectic — is one of several suggestions the World Bank offers to cut climate-harming pollution from the agricultural and food sectors, which are responsible for nearly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions.


“We have to stop destroying the planet as we feed ourselves,” Julian Lampietti, the World Bank’s manager for global engagement in the bank’s agriculture and food global practice, told POLITICO.