ProVeg said that it will meet with policymakers and delegates from various EU member states to highlight the impact of livestock sector to global climate change. The company is also expected to host an official COP23 side event to further drive the debate.
According to ProVeg, in spite of the livestock sector being one of the leading causes of climate change and is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the global transport sector, it has been kept out of the agenda at all previous UN Climate Change Conferences. This is the first time that the food awareness organisation will focus on this crucial issue, aiming to table a series of policy solutions.
“By focusing so narrowly on energy and transport, policymakers have been excluding the key missing piece of the puzzle. Now is the time to have cars and cows on the same climate agenda, otherwise the industrial juggernaut that is animal agriculture will destroy our planet,” said Jimmy Pierson, director of ProVeg UK.
According to FAO, animal agriculture is responsible for around 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the whole world’s transport combined. This makes it one of the leading drivers of climate change. In addition, it is also one of the leading causes of a range of other environmental catastrophes including deforestation and biodiversity loss to fresh water usage and pollution.
ProVeg noted that if meat consumption continues to rise at the current rate, the greenhouse gas emissions from this sector alone will increase by 80 per cent by 2050, posing dire consequences for the planet.
Therefore, addressing animal agriculture is essential to combating climate change as well as to focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
This was recently highlighted in a new study from Loma Linda University in the US, which showed that if the US made one dietary change of switching from beef to beans, it would achieve up to 74 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions targets by 2020, without making any changes in other sector.
Pierson added, “It’s no secret just how destructive animal agriculture is. We have the facts, the science and solutions. What we haven’t had yet is the political will to turn these into policy.”
The representatives of ProVeg will present a petition of more than 55,000 signatures to Jochen Flasbarth, the German state secretary for the environment, calling on the German government to make animal agriculture a priority in its climate discussions, said the company.
In partnership with Green Course, ProVeg International will also host an official side event featuring an expert panel to discuss the opportunities available to the livestock sector to keep emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.