Our urgent call to action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from intensive animal agriculture
We need to take immediate action to protect animals and the planet they live on.
Earlier this week, World Animal Protection joined 14 other organizations in releasing a policy brief urging leaders attending the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) to take immediate action to reduce planet-warming emissions from the food and intensive animal agriculture industries.
In the policy brief, we outlined five key actions:
- Providing technical assistance for countries to include food and agriculture in emissions reduction targets;
- Promoting sustainable diets and food production in climate and development policies;
- Internalizing the costs of livestock production and ending tax subsidies for feed crops;
- Aligning efforts across government departments to address meat and dairy production as well as consumption;
- Shifting procurement to prioritize purchasing low-impact foods.
In the past, conversations around the overconsumption of animal-based foods have been largely absent from international climate talks, with the majority of food-related efforts focus on improving production practices with few or no significant targets for shifting to less climate-intensive diets.
Failing to address intensive animal agriculture’s connection to climate change will have devastating effects on the planet, humans, and animals. A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that the livestock sector alone accounts for at least 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all forms of transportation combined. What’s more, the World Resources Institute predicts that demand for animal products will increase 70% by 2050.
Studies have shown that it will not be possible to meet global climate targets, including limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels set forth by the Paris Agreement, without dramatically reducing meat and dairy consumption and production.
Climate change is our world’s greatest threat, and intensive animal farming is among the worst contributors. It’s crucial that world leaders take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food and agriculture.
By reducing meat and dairy consumption through public policy, leaders have the opportunity to not only create a more sustainable future, but also free up resources to move to higher welfare practices for farmed animals.
While it is important that urgent action is taken to reduce meat consumption through public policy, change can start with you.
If you want to protect the planet and the animals who live on it, try adding more sustainable plant-based alternatives to your diet. Pledge to eat less meat today!