A new study has found Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions from meat production are the world’s highest.
The Australian Meat Industry Association says the country produces around 2 million tonnes of meat a year.
The study was conducted by research firm Carbon Analytics, which compared the carbon emissions of Australian beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish, sheep and goat.
The CO2 emitted by Australia’s beef industry was more than three times the amount emitted by the UK’s dairy industry, according to the report.
“Meat production is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, but this study highlights the scale of this challenge,” the Australian Meat Association said in a statement.
“Australians are consuming more meat than they produce, and we are burning through our remaining beef supply.”
The association also said there was a growing shortage of pasture for animals in Australia.
“Australia is in a high carbon market, with the cost of carbon for beef and other meat products increasing, and with increasing demand for protein, this is likely to continue,” it said.
“While Australia is a high-carbon economy, the country is also an important player in global markets, and Australia’s contribution to global CO2 is expected to increase significantly over the next 20 years.”
Australia has the highest number of greenhouse gases per capita in the developed world.
The United Nations has ranked Australia last for emissions of CO2 per capita, at 37.1 per cent.
The average CO2 level in Australia was 28.3 in 2016.