UN removes ‘meat worse than oil’ tweet


Beef Central (AU)

July 30, 2020


THE United Nations has quietly removed a tweet which claimed meat produces more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies.


On July 25 the United Nations posted the following message to its twitter account:


The meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies. Meat production contributes to the depletion of water resources & drives deforestation.


See how you can #ActNow to protect our planet. https://t.co/xN4WUQCWNL pic.twitter.com/NouRjpRaoq


— United Nations (@UN) July 25, 2020


The tweet triggered an angry response from a range of sources including Cattle Council of Australia, which described the claim as an ‘absurd simplification’ and ‘misleading’.


It said the message ignored the basic point that oil extraction releases carbon storages laid down millions of years ago, while livestock emissions are part of a biogenic cycle.


Australian agricultural minister David Littleproud said the message showed the UN was “becoming irrelevant”: “Urging people to eat less meat based on an ideological agenda is nothing short of hypocritical and disgraceful,” he said.


International air quality expert Frank Mitloehner from the University of California Davis, who a decade ago exposed incorrect information published by the United Nations on livestock emissions in its 2006 Livestock Long Shadow report, called on the UN to have a closer look at the message in its July 25 tweet:


Frank Mitloehner



The @FAO as the UN organization in charge of agriculture and its impacts should review these astonishing @UN claims. Global livestock emits more GHG than big oil companies —-seriously?


Anne Mottet



Replying to @UN

@FAO @FAOAnimalHealth This doesn’t seem right and should be corrected


11:56 PM · Jul 28, 2020


He also wrote at length about the scientific flaws in the UN’s statement on Tuesday. 


The tweet appears to have been quietly removed from the UN’s twitter feed this afternoon.


No statement has been made by the UN to explain why the tweet has been removed.


Its twitter account does however still contain a number of tweets warning against people posting misinformation online, such as this one: