BRUSSELS — Paul McCartney took his "Meat-Free Mondays" campaign to the European Parliament on Thursday, saying the power to halt global warming lies as much with individuals as with their governments.
McCartney met in Brussels with Rajendra K. Pachauri, head of the U.N.'s global climate change panel, and praised the virtue of skipping meat one day a week for the sake of the environment.
"I grew up as a kid not eating meat on Fridays," McCartney told reporters. "It was part of the rules of the school I went to.
At a time of concerns over global warming, McCartney added, there are "even more crucial reason" to skip meat.
The former Beatle and well-known vegetarian said the production of food – from farm to fork – accounts for 20 to 30 percent of global green house gas emissions. Livestock production is responsible for around half of these emissions.
Still, he admitted that his flight from London to Brussels – and on to Berlin for a concert later Thursday – had contributed to global warming.
"They haven't invented microphones that work on candle power," he said. "I do everything I can. If I go for a car, I go for hybrid. I recycle."
Pachauri lauded McCartney's initiative, saying it "certainly makes the tasks of governments so much easier."
Earlier, Pachauri met with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who said even if the global climate conference opening in Copenhagen next week does not yield a final accord it must "light the pathway to a legal agreement" on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Barroso said he was heartened that "around 90" government leaders are coming to Copenhagen for the Dec. 7-18 U.N. climate meeting.