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Land use under the spotlight as Bayer hint at plant-based meat plans.

In a week in which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has thrown into sharp focus the role that land use is playing in climate change, an executive at pharmaceutical and life sciences giant Bayer has stated they are looking closely at the plant-based meat substitute market.

The IPCC, the world body for assessing the state of scientific knowledge related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks, and possible response options, saw the Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL) approved by the  world’s governments on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.

Land is already under growing human pressure and climate change is adding to these pressures. At the same time, keeping global warming to well below 2ºC can be achieved only by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors including land and food, said in its latest report on Thursday.

“Governments challenged the IPCC to take the first ever comprehensive look at the whole land-climate system. We did this through many contributions from experts and governments worldwide. This is the first time in IPCC report history that a majority of authors – 53% – are from developing countries,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.

This report shows that better land management can contribute to tackling climate change, but is not the only solution. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential if global warming is to be kept to well below 2ºC, if not 1.5oC.

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Land must remain productive to maintain food security as the population increases and the negative impacts of climate change on vegetation increase. This means there are limits to the contribution of land to addressing climate change, for instance through the cultivation of energy crops and afforestation. It also takes time for trees and soils to store carbon effectively.

Meanwhile, as reported by Reuters, Bob Reiter, Bayer’s head of research and development at the company’s crop science division said at an investor event in St. Louis, Missouri, that they could potentially enter the market as an alternative protein source provider.

“They are sourcing different types of crops and that also could create opportunity for us, being a company that is a plant-breeding company,”, said Reiter in reference to question from an analyst on the impact of plant-based meat substitutes on their business.

If you are interested in the development of meat-alternatives, Kate Krueger of New Harvest and Daan Luining of Meatable are among the expert speakers @ SynBio Markets 2019.  


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