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Why It Matters

Meat-based agriculture is a big greenhouse gas emitter.

One-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions and 10% of US emissions in 2019 came from the agricultural sector. The meat-centric Western diet supports methane-emitting cattle ranching and land-use dedicated to mono-cropping for feedstock - both unsustainable agricultural practices.

Plant-based and plant-rich diets can reduce emissions.

Emissions from cattle-raising can be mitigated through balanced diets. Plant-based and sustainably produced animal sourced food can both curb the global warming potential of agriculture and help us lead healthier lives. 

Project Drawdown estimates that if 50-75% of the world's population restricts their diets to a healthy average of 2,250 calories a day and reduces meat consumption overall, the world can reduce up to 68 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Companies are making plant-based food attractive.

Convincing every person in the world to go vegetarian or vegan is probably out of the question, especially given the short timeframe we have to combat climate change. But there are many companies that are making plant-based foods and protein sources, as well as alternative meat products, that would appeal to non-vegetarians and non-vegans. The challenge is for these companies to scale as fast as possible.

In the Climate Index, we take all of the companies that make plant-based food products. We take out penny stocks whose share prices were lower than $0.50 in our last update. Then we exclude companies that also make foods that include animal products and tobacco products. So the Climate Index includes the companies that are at the forefront of expanding plant-based diets.

If you are a Carbon Collective member, you own all of these companies through the Climate Index.

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