Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has welcomed a decision by the United Nations to end a campaign claiming the meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the oil industry.
The campaign was launched by the UN online and was quickly slammed by Mr Littleproud and the Cattle Council of Australia.
After receiving heavy backlash, the United Nations deleted a Twitter post advertising the anti-meat campaign four days after it was posted.
The ActNow campaign encouraged individuals to cook meat-free meals to prevent greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and the growing demand for meat.
“The meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies,” the United Nations said.
“Meat production contributes to the depletion of water resources and drives deforestation.”
Mr Littleproud condemned the idea that the meat industry was driving climate change, specifically in Australia.
“Australian meat producers are amongst the most sustainable land managers and environmental stewards in the world and encouraging people not to eat meat are the actions of an activist group not a responsible international body the UN is meant to be,” he said.
“It was also irresponsible to compare emissions from meat production to those created by the oil industry, exposing a fundamental misunderstanding and a deliberate misrepresentation of the science.
“The fact that the UN's anti-meat Twitter campaign lasted just days demonstrates how out of touch the international body was found to be on this issue.”
The UN campaign lists a series of challenges to fight climate change, asking individuals to log their completed actions online.
“Producing a single beef burger requires an average of 1695 litres of water — that's almost twice what a person drinks in a year,” the UN said.
Mr Littleproud said Australian meat sectors were producing meat with 65 per cent less water than 2005.
“According to research by Meat & Livestock Australia, greenhouse gas emissions from the red meat and livestock industry have fallen by 57.6 per cent since 2005,” he said.
“In Australia, all meat sectors have committed to significantly reducing emissions, and most industries are on track to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.”