A research report published by a federally-funded consultancy group says that Canadians must cut their meat and dairy consumption by half by the year 2050 to reach federal climate targets. 

The report was published by World Animal Protection and Navius Research – both of which have received funding from the Trudeau government. 

Researchers concluded that to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, Canadians need to cut out meat and dairy by 35% by 2030 and in half by 2050. 

“We wanted to look at the potential for reducing our climate change footprint in Canada by moving away from diets high in animal protein,” World Animal Protection farming campaign manager told the National Observer. 

The model used by Navius Research to produce their report simulated three scenarios: the substitution of meat and dairy with plant-based alternatives, the declining price of meat and dairy alternatives and the willingness of consumers to substitute their consumption. 

“The consumption of meat and dairy declines by 84% relative to current levels by 2050 in the low animal consumption scenario, and declines by 51% and 20% from current levels by 2050 in the medium and high animal consumption scenarios,” researchers wrote. 

“In all target scenarios simulated, Canada’s economy continues to grow at a similar rate out to 2050. At the same time, scenarios in which future animal consumption is lower lead to lower costs for Canada’s economy to achieve its climate targets.”

 On Dec. 6, 2021, Navius Research was awarded a $360,000 grant by Natural Resources Canada for a project “related to increased knowledge and collaboration with stakeholders and/or international organizations.” 

That same year, World Animal Protection, formerly known as the World Society for the Protection of Animals, was given several thousand dollars by Employment and Social Development Canada under the Canada Summer Jobs Program. 

In July, a United Nations and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study predicted that protein intake would slow down as consumers shift to plant-based diets and alternative insect-based “meat.” 

“In high-income countries, average per capita consumption of proteins is not expected to expand much over the next decade, due to near saturation in consumption, and heightened concerns about health and the environment,” the report describes.