As news of the just-concluded G-20 summit in London and U.S. President Obama’s tour of Europe continue to dominate headlines, I came across this intriguing story of international cooperation — and half measures. (Some observers of, and participants, in the G-20 summit view its conclusions as historic, changing the rules of the global financial gain; others see it as only tinkering at the margins, not overturning the status quo.) But a recent report by the European Parliament sought to do something ambitious: agree a wide-ranging agenda for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including those from agriculture (about one-third of the global total).
In a resolution, the Parliament called for industrialized countries to cut GHGs between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. from 1990 levels and deepen the target to at least 80 percent by 2050. However, while acknowledging the “substantial” GHG emissions from the livestock industry, the Parliament deleted a call for a cut in worldwide meat consumption, particularly in industrialized countries. Perhaps then it should be no surprise that for the G-20 dinner earlier this week, UK bold face name chef Jamie Oliver cooked lamb, lots of it. Mint jelly on the side.