Animal agriculture accounts for ‘at least’ 87 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report.
Climate Healers’ latest paper Animal Agriculture is the Leading Cause of Climate Change also says focusing exclusively on the reduction of fossil fuel burning will ‘accelerate climate change, potentially to the point of no return’.
It states that while fossil fuels are currently the leading source of human-made CO2 emissions – climate change is caused by ‘cumulative human-made greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions – not just current CO2 emissions alone’.
‘A global plant-based economy’
“While humans have been burning fossil fuels for a little over 200 years, we have been burning down forests for animal agriculture for well over 8,000 years…” the report states.
“For the GSA analysis, we use factual data from the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other peer-reviewed scientific sources.
“We need to transition to a global plant-based economy first and that blindly eliminating fossil fuel usage first will accelerate the warming of the planet.
Returning to the ‘Safe zone’
“[The report] shows that the annual methane emissions from animal agriculture alone cause more incremental global warming than the annual CO2 emissions from all fossil fuel sources combined.”
It added that transitioning to a ‘global plant-based economy’ has the potential to sequester more than 2,000 Gigatons (Gt) of CO2 and help return atmospheric greenhouse gas levels to the ‘safe zone’ of under 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 equivalent.
“This paper clearly illustrates why the scientific community, government institutions, corporations and news media, who vastly underestimate the role of animal agriculture and focus primarily on reducing fossil fuel use, need to urgently change their priorities in order to be effective,” the report adds.
You can read the full report here