Governments can no longer ignore the role of food system change


Governments can no longer ignore the role of food system change

14 November 2022
As world leaders meet at the COP27 UN climate negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, 6-18 November, Eurogroup for Animals calls on the negotiators to recognise the crucial role of animal welfare and a shift to more plant-based diets. Last year, at COP26 in Glasgow, governments failed to address these important aspects for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

Animal welfare has for a long time been absent from the UN sustainability agenda, but animal welfare is intrinsically linked to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. To highlight this important connection, Eurogroup for Animals, together with World Federation for Animals, and the member organisations Aquatic Life Institute, Compassion in World Farming, Four Paws and World Animal Protection, will host an exhibition at COP27, in the UN area called the ’Blue Zone’ where negotiations take place. The theme of the exhibition is animal welfare and sustainable development and it showcases how improving animal welfare creates co-benefits for people, animals and eco-systems both on land and below water.

Watch our Official UNFCCC exhibition ”Animal welfare and sustainable development”, 14-15 November.

In a joint position paper sent to the European Commission and EU Member States ahead of COP27, under the umbrella of World Federation for Animals, Eurogroup for Animals urged EU governments to:

  • Recognise the role that animals can play for climate change mitigation. Governments can do this by driving shifts towards more plant-based food production and consumption, and by protecting wildlife and ecosystems.
  • Integrate climate change impacts on animals in adaptation and preparedness guidance and strategies on both global and national level.

Previous UN climate negotiations have been criticised for not addressing agriculture, which has also been absent among the thematic days. Therefore it marks a new awareness that COP27 dedicates 12 November to agriculture. The role of agriculture cannot be ignored anymore. Even if all emissions from fossil fuels are eliminated, the emissions from the current food system, heavy in animal protein, would be enough to fail to keep global warming below 1.5°C. 

Eurogroup for Animals and World Animal Protection will host an official UNFCCC side-event on 14 November ”Transitioning agriculture systems for sustainability and climate resistance”. This side-event will bring together experts in food, climate and animal welfare to discuss why a Just Protein Transition to plant-based proteins and agroecological farming will be critical and how this can offer concrete solutions for a sustainable future.

This year is the first time ever that the UNFCCC has endorsed pavilions dedicated to food systems. One of these is the Food4Climate pavilion which focuses on animal agriculture, the shift to more plant-based diets and the urgent need of food system change. The pavilion is set-up by over 20 organisations such as ProVeg International, IPES-Food, and also including Eurogroup for Animals’ members’ Compassion in World Farming, Four Paws and World Animal Protection.

All events in the Food4Climate pavilion can be watched online

Protecting animals to protect the planet - COP27 edition

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