More than 50 NGOs call on COP26 to acknowledge the climate impact of animal agriculture
More than 50 NGOs, including Eurogroup for Animals and several member organisations, have signed an open letter calling on the United Nations Climate Change COP26 to recognise the role of animal agriculture as one of the largest contributors of climate change.
Animal agriculture is one of the most significant contributors to climate change, representing 14.5% to 16.5% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions globally, which is on par with all forms of transportation combined.
Current trends in global food systems would make it impossible to limit warming to the 1.5°C target and make it difficult to realise the 2°C target.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has pointed to the need for reduction in non-CO2 emissions, in particular methane, mentioning the need for “deep reductions in agricultural emissions” among other mitigation pathways.
The science is clear that reducing global livestock numbers could contribute up to one-fifth of the mitigation needed to meet the Paris Agreement target of keeping global warming below 2°C. Diets featuring plant-based foods play a key role.
In addition, the farm animal production sector is 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.
Working with farmers to support and catalyse a shift towards more plant-centric food production and consumption is a proactive step that must be taken to future-proof global food and agricultural industries.