Wednesday

23rd Sep 2020

Paul McCartney calls for meat-free Mondays in Europe

Paul McCartney has called on Europeans to make at least one day a week meat-free in order to save the planet.

Speaking in the European Parliament on Thursday, the former Beatle warned that eating meat was doing more damage to the earth's climate than any other activity.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • The former Beatle wants Europeans to eat no meat on Mondays (Photo: Wikipedia)

"The livestock industry produces more greenhouse gases than all of transport put together - cars planes trains trucking," he said.

"They used to be what we thought were the villains, but it turns out the livestock industry is worse," he continued, noting that agriculture as a whole was responsible for between 20 and 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,

One of the world's most famous vegetarians and author of some of the world's most well-known tunes, he said that meat production was incredibly wasteful and contributed to deforestation. He also highlighted the intense water use involved in meat production."

"To produce one burger requires the amount of water used in a four-hour shower," he added, speaking alongside Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a vegetarian as well.

Mr Pachauri said that if people ate meat only five or six days a week instead of seven, this alone could reduce global emissions by five to eight percent.

The president of the parliament, Jerzy Buzek, endorsed the call for a reduction of meat in Europeans' diet.

"The ‘meat-free Monday' campaign is a good idea, may be not for everyone and the change has to be step by step, the impact on the climate of overproduction of meat is becoming clear," he said.

Farmers' groups for their part thought people dismissed the suggestion.

"Sir Paul McCartney is a well-respected musician, but he should not be using this debate to further what are his personal, strident vegetarian beliefs," said Peter Kendall, president of the UK's National Farmers' Union.



"We see the ... car industry encouraged to produce more efficient and environmentally friendly cars," he added. "Food producers in this country should be treated in the same way."



"The idea of giving up meat or reducing our national herds and flocks is unnecessary. Instead, we need to see more investment made in agricultural research and development to help farmers and growers produce more efficiently. We need to work with our food producers, not alienate them"


Higher EU climate target 'economically feasible'

A new report indicates that the EU's plan to reduce the bloc's greenhouse emissions by 55 percent by 2030 is "technically and economically feasible" - with a reform of EU carbon market and "adequate safeguards" for low-income EU countries.

Recovery plan slammed for failing to tackle climate crisis

EU leaders agreed that about a third of the €750bn recovery package and the €1.074 trillion seven-year budget will be invested in projects contributing to climate action. However, environmental activists said that the package falls short on climate safeguards.

News in Brief

  1. Report: Roma life expectancy '10 years lower'
  2. US corona death toll passes 200,000
  3. Greece and Turkey agree to resume talks in Istanbul
  4. Seven countries found MidEast energy forum, without Turkey
  5. Four more states join EU medical strategic stockpile
  6. Malta police arrest chief of staff of ex-PM
  7. EP pushing for effective rule-of-law mechanism
  8. France opposes return EU deficit rules after corona

Feature

The 150 random French citizens advising Macron

Some 150 randomly-picked men and women make up Emmanuel Macron's Citizens' Climate Convention. This week Macron invited them to the Élysée Palace and promised - nearly - all of their wishes would come true .

France shuts oldest reactor amid Macron climate pledges

France's oldest nuclear power plant finally closed on Tuesday, one day after president Emmanuel Macron pledged to speed up the country's transition to a greener economy responding to the proposals from the French citizens' convention on climate.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link
  2. EU states struggle to better sync Covid-19 measures
  3. EP groups drop homophobe from Sakharov prize
  4. Legal complaint filed with EU Commission over migration
  5. Coronavirus: Will a second wave divide Europe again?
  6. Coronavirus: the Swedish model was worth emulating
  7. Time to fix Europe's broken migration and asylum system
  8. Covid-19: How is Eastern Europe bracing for a second wave?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us