laying hens in a factory farm

COP28: Why Factory Farming Needs to Be on the Agenda



Factory farming contributes at least 11% of the global greenhouse gasses fueling climate change. Global leaders need to address this.

Just days ago, World Animal Protection released a new report at COP 28 in Dubai. How Factory Farming Emissions are Worsening Climate Disasters in the Global South details how 11 percent of greenhouse gas emissions stem from factory farming operations, resulting in worsening heat waves, wildfires, floods, and droughts.

Simply put: factory farming is killing our planet.

A pig is pictured behind its cage in UK factory farm.

A pig in a crate on a factory farm.

Every year, more than 80 billion land animals are exploited for food, with approximately 70% of these animals living in poor conditions on factory farms. However, the impacts of factory farms reach far beyond the billions of animals suffering inside them.

All along the supply chain, producing meat and dairy on an industrial scale is depleting our natural resources, destroying our forests, polluting our air and waterways, harming wild animals, and releasing greenhouse gasses.

In fact, emissions from chicken farms in just four countries (US, China, Brazil, and The Netherlands) alone are equivalent to keeping 29 million cars on the road for a year, and emissions from pig farms in those same countries are equal to 74 million cars. The dairy industry is responsible for a whopping 3.4% of global human-induced emissions—more than aviation.

infographic showing the relationship between meat and greenhouse gas emissions

According to the FAO, “Industrial meat and dairy production alone will undercut our ability to keep temperatures from rising to an apocalyptic scenario.”

Steve McIvor, World Animal Protection’s CEO, stated:

“Factory farming poses a core obstacle in achieving the targets laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement and casts a dark shadow over the prospect of a climate-safe future.”

To address animal agriculture’s significant culpability in climate change, World Animal Protection is on the ground in Dubai calling for governments at COP28 to ban factory farms and halt this flawed food system’s rapid global expansion.

While 134 COP28 leaders have signed up to an agriculture, food, and climate declaration, we are disappointed that world leaders have not turned the spotlight on factory farming as a key contributor to the climate crisis. The declaration, however, does show the vast majority of COP28 agrees that food systems and agriculture need to be at the center of these critical climate talks—and World Animal Protection will continue to advocate for such.

But it’s not just global leaders who need to act. We can all make a difference to protect our planet by reducing or eliminating animal products in our diets and ending our support of cruel factory farms.

By choosing more plant-based foods, we can help phase out the climate catastrophe that is factory farming.

Want to do more? Urge your US federal legislators to ban factory farming and support the PLANT Act’s inclusion in the 2023 Farm Bill.

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