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COP26: petition urging the reduction of meat to fight against climate change.

Letter from HSI and ProVeg to COP 26. | Posted on 2021-11-05 16:00

Today at COP26, global NGOs Humane Society International and ProVeg International submitted a petition of over 70,000 signatures and a letter from some of the world's largest companies and investors in the plant-based food industry, urging them to world leaders to address the adverse climate impacts of animal agriculture in their climate change mitigation strategies and goals.

The scale and speed of the change needed to stem the climate damage caused by the ranching and death of 88 billion land animals per year requires world leaders to take decisive action. COP26 has been touted as a 'race to zero', but in its refusal to set ambitious goals and strategies to significantly reduce the climate impacts of animal agriculture, it fails to tackle the second most. major emitter of human-made GHGs in the world. This week's methane pledge , for example, makes no mention of the need and opportunity to dramatically reduce this potent greenhouse gas, simply by setting targets to reduce the number of ruminants raised. About 44% of livestock emissions are in the form of methane, so a pledge on methane that fails to significantly reduce industrial production of meat and dairy products represents a glaringly missed opportunity.

Euromonitor's Health and Nutrition Survey (2020) shows that 42% of consumers worldwide are restricting animal products and looking to diversify their diets with more plant-based options. A new YouGov opinion poll released today shows more than half of Britons want the UK government to launch a joint campaign with supermarkets and food services to actively promote plant-based foods. And our letter submitted today at COP26 by some of the world's biggest names in plant-based food, including Beyond Investing, Eat Just, Linda McCartney Foods and Wicked Kitchen, sends a strong message to world leaders that they stop ignoring animal agriculture in climate change mitigation policies and goals.

It's time for policy makers to catch up and recognize the cow in the room.

Leading plant-based companies support NGOs and the public in urging COP26 to act on meat and dairy reduction to fight climate change

YouGov poll shows more than half of Britons support government campaign to promote plant-based foods

If Europe is to meet its climate targets by 2030, it must reduce its consumption of meat and encourage the consumption of foods rich in plants.

Some of the world's largest plant-based food manufacturers and investors, including Beyond Investing, Eat Just, Linda McCartney Foods and Wicked Kitchen, added their voices to the #TheCowInTheRoom campaign at the COP26 climate change conference, calling world leaders to stop ignoring animal agriculture in climate change mitigation policies and goals. The letter comes as a new YouGov opinion poll shows more than half of Britons (51%) would support the UK government by launching a joint campaign with supermarkets and food service / retail companies to actively promote benefits of plant-based foods.

In an open letter to COP26 presented at the conference by Humane Society International, in collaboration with ProVeg International and the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation, 16 companies urge world leaders to include animal agriculture and meat reduction goals and dairy products in formal discussions at COP26. A citizens' petition with more than 70,000 signatures was also submitted to COP26 by activists, with the support of some of the biggest celebrities around the world, including Joaquin Phoenix, Moby, Billie Eilish, Alan Cumming, Alicia Silverstone, Leona Lewis, Lily Cole and Stephen Fry.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International / UK, said of COP26: “We simply can no longer afford to ignore the cow in the room - the science is clear that the production and consumption of meat and dairy products are crucial if we are to achieve the internationally agreed climate goals. But while there is a clear consumer and corporate appetite for herbal change, politicians seem to be sleeping behind the wheel, failing to grasp both the urgent need and the multiple opportunities to catalyze the normalization of centric diets. on plants. The commitment to methane is a prime example; to reduce this powerful GHG, we just need fewer cows, not just technological solutions that produce slightly fewer beefy cows. "

The food system is responsible for 30% of the European Union's greenhouse gas emissions, of which 17% are attributable to animal husbandry. Switching to diets richer in plants could reduce the EU's carbon footprint by 50%.

ProVeg says Europe's meat and dairy reduction targets should be bold to meet Europe's climate targets. Based on cutting-edge research , ProVeg calculates that by 2040:

  • Meat consumption should be reduced by 79%.
  • The consumption of milk and dairy products should be reduced by 74-83%.
  • Egg consumption should be reduced by 68%.
  • Consumption of fish and seafood should be reduced by 65%.

Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International, comments: “The urgent need to reduce our global consumption of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products to deal with the climate crisis must be addressed, especially now that world leaders reached agreement at COP26 to tackle deforestation and set a 30% methane reduction target. We must now switch to diets richer in plants to save our forests and save the planet. If Europe is to meet its climate targets by 2030, it will need to reduce current meat consumption by 79% and encourage consumption of plant-rich diets. We must go further and show leadership in order to have a fair and equitable global transition towards more plant-based food production and consumption. "

Dr Ming-nan Lin of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation and Deputy Superintendent of Dalin Tzu Chi General Hospital, comments, “World leaders and the private sector must engage with religious leaders and community partners to inspire the respect for all life, with compassion and love. There are obvious links between human health and planetary health. Zoonoses, vector-borne diseases and some non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are inextricably linked to our eating habits. The public health benefits of a transition to a plant-centered food system also have clear benefits for the health and well-being of the planet. "

The animal agriculture industry breeds, rears and slaughters more than 88 billion land animals around the world each year. Emissions from industry - 20% of all human-made greenhouse gas emissions - are on par with those emitted by the entire global transport sector, yet the goals and strategies to reduce the production and consumption of meat and dairy products are absent from discussions on climate change.

Scientists, too, are calling for the need to transform our global food system into one that supports and protects planetary and human health. The 107 experts who prepared the report for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change determined with great confidence that policies operating across the food system, including policies that influence choices food, enable more sustainable management of land use, improve food security and low emission trajectories, contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and improve public health.


Posted on 2021-11-05 16:00

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