A new land dividend: the opportunity of alternative proteins in Europe

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9 May, 2024


There is simply not enough land on Earth for current patterns of consumption to continue whilst avoiding climate breakdown and restoring nature. The alternative protein industry could be game changing. Companies are rapidly developing products that aim to taste the same as conventional meat and dairy, using far less land.

This report explores the impacts alternative proteins could have on land use in ten European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Under a high innovation scenario, alternative proteins could displace about two thirds of the meat and dairy consumed in Europe by 2050. This would allow the ten studied countries to reduce their reliance on overseas land by 75%, whilst also creating space for nature recovery and carbon storage.  

But governments have choices to make that affect whether alternative proteins succeed, and how any land they free up will be used. This opportunity to a more secure food supply will be squandered without supportive policy.


Lydia Collas and Dustin Benton



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