The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that eating less meat and more plant diet will help the world in fighting climate change.

The report adds that the way the world manages land, produces and eats food has to change to curb global warming and maintain food security.

Otherwise, health and biodiversity will be at risk, the UN report on the effects of climate change on land said on Thursday.

The report said global population growth and changes in consumption patterns have caused unprecedented rates of land and water use. It called for big changes to farming and eating habits, but stopped short of explicitly advocating going meat free.

Dietary changes, featuring plant-based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food, could free up several million square kilometres of land by 2050 and potentially cut 0.7-8.0 gigatonnes a year of carbon dioxide equivalent, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in the report.