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CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE: NGOs call on COP26 to formally acknowledge animal agriculture as major climate change contributor

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Despite animal agriculture being one of the largest contributors to climate change, it is largely neglected by countries around the world in climate change mitigation strategies and commitments.

HSI-UK: More than 50 animal protection, environmental and food justice organisations from around the globe have written to Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, president of the COP26 climate change conference organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), calling on the UNFCCC to publicly recognise the catastrophic impact animal agriculture has on the planet at this year’s conference… Eliminating meat and dairy production and consumption is one of the most effective actions we can take to avoid catastrophic climate change…

In the animal agriculture industry, more than 88 billion animals are raised and slaughtered for food every year. This industry is responsible for an estimated 14.5%—16.5% of human induced greenhouse gas emissions globally, on par with emissions levels of the entire transport sector. Despite animal agriculture being one of the largest contributors to climate change, it is largely neglected by countries around the world in climate change mitigation strategies and commitments.

The letter, signed by Humane Society International, World Animal Protection, Brighter Green Compassion in World Farming, 50by40, Animal Equality, FOUR PAWS International, ProVeg International, RSPCA, The Humane League and others calls on the COP26 conference, taking place in Glasgow in November, to formally acknowledge animal agriculture’s climate impact. The groups hope that formal recognition at COP26 will encourage world leaders to commit to meat and dairy consumption reduction strategies to meet the Paris Agreement’s below 2°C target…

In addition to significant greenhouse gas emissions, the farm animal production sector is also the single largest anthropogenic user of land, with meat, egg, dairy and aquaculture production systems using approximately 83% of the world’s farmland while providing just 37% of the world’s protein and 18% of calories. Animal agriculture is also a major driver of deforestation, species extinction, land degradation, exhaustion of water resources and pollution…

Scientists agree — including the 107 experts who prepared a report for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the more than 11,000 signatories from 153 countries to a recent paper in the journal BioScience — that global shifts towards more plant-based diets will be key in tackling climate change…

Julie Janovsky, Humane Society International’s vice president for farm animal welfare, says: “When it comes to the impacts of animal agriculture on climate change, we cannot continue to kick the can down the road. While many governments and constituencies have recognized and taken action to address the impacts of the energy and transport sector, governments have yet to adopt policies to reduce the impact of large-scale, intensive animal agriculture on the environment. If we are serious about avoiding climate catastrophe, world leaders must acknowledge the science and implement strategies to change our global food system to one that significantly reduces industrial animal agriculture”. SOURCE…

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