London, Aug 9 : Forget going green and turning off air-conditioners, the best way to combat climate change is eating kangaroos, at least that's what a group of Australia boffins say.
According to a study, farming and consuming more kangaroos instead of cattle and sheep will reduce carbon gas emissions.
The scientific journal Conservation Letters says that the Australian icon produces far less methane than sheep and cattle. Methane is one of the worst causes of greenhouse gas and in Australia alone sheep and cattle produce 11 per cent of the nation's total emissions.
Kangaroos, on the other hand, produce relatively small amounts of the gas because they are not ruminants; as with wallabies, the microorganisms in their stomachs differ from those found in sheep and cattle.
The study, conducted by George Wilson, of the independent consultancy Australian Wildlife Services, found that increasing the kangaroo population to 175 million and decreasing the number of livestock over the next 12 years would lower Australia's annual greenhouse gas emissions by 3 per cent.
"Currently, farmers have few options to reduce the contribution that livestock make to greenhouse gas production," Times Online quoted Dr Wilson, as saying.
"However, low-emission kangaroo meat will provide an option to avoid emissions . . . and have a positive global impact," he added.
The study found that the environment would benefit from reducing the number of hard-hoofed livestock, potentially improving soil conservation, increasing the capacity of vegetation to respond to drought, and improving water quality.