Livestock numbers should be slashed to combat climate change, says a report.
A 30% reduction in livestock in high-producing countries is needed to meet climate change targets, says the document.
The report calls on health ministers and professionals across the world to recognise the danger that climate change poses to health.
A reduction in livestock numbers that led to reduced meat consumption would have positive effects on human health, it states.
Changes in farming practice to reduce livestock and overall meat consumption could lower the intake of saturated fat, says the report.
The document was launched at an event attended by health secretary Andy Burnham on Wednesday (25 November).
“Climate change can seem a distant, impersonal threat – in fact, the associated costs to health are a very real and present danger,” he said.
“Health Ministers across the globe must act now to highlight the risk global warming poses to the health of our communities.
“We need well-designed climate change policies that drive health benefits.”
The government was determined to bring the human health cost of climate change to the forefront of the debate on global warming, said Mr Burnham.
Policies must improve health as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to help “tip the balance” in favour of ambitious climate change action, he added.