Calls for this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, aka COP26, to offer an entirely plant-based menu are gaining increased support.
This week, it was announced that more than 50 global NGOs are urging the summit’s president, MP Alok Sharma, to remove meat and dairy from the event.
COP26 urged to go plant-based
The calls are being made in order to recognize the catastrophic impact animal agriculture has on climate change. That is, what the event is designed to discuss. And it involves global leaders gathering to meet global climate targets.
Among the 50 organizations are Humane Society International, World Animal Protection, Animal Equality, ProVeg International, and the RSPCA.
Fundamentally, these organizations want global leaders to commit to reducing meat and dairy consumption in order to limit global warming as per the Paris Agreement.
Climate change calls
‘Addressing these urgent areas in the COP26 meeting would help propel governments around the world to take action. And, would provide world leaders with another high impact option to add to their toolbox for tackling climate change’, the letter states.
It continues: “Working with farmers to support and catalyze 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…
“We call on the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC) to formally and publicly recognize the role of animal agriculture as one of the largest contributors of climate change. And, to open a greater space for dialogue.”
Going plant-based for the planet
The calls come as plant-based diets are considered one of the most effective actions in fighting climate change. This is widely agreed among scientists and environmentalists.
‘The science is clear that reducing global livestock numbers could contribute up to one-fifth of the mitigation needed to meet the Paris below 2°C target’, the organizations add in the letter.
Moreover, a senior UK politician – of the same party as COP26’s president – publically credited the surge in plant-based diets as a leading driver in reaching global climate change targets earlier this year.
‘Vital’ opportunity for world leaders
Humane Society International Vice President for Farm Animal Welfare sent a statement to Plant Based News about the calls.
Julie Janovsky said: “When it comes to the impacts of animal agriculture on climate change, we cannot continue to kick the can down the road.
“Many governments and constituencies have recognized and taken action to address the impacts of the energy and transport sector. [But] governments have yet to adopt policies to reduce the impact of large-scale, intensive animal agriculture on the environment.
“If we are serious about avoiding climate catastrophe, world leaders must acknowledge the science. And, implement strategies to change our global food system to one that significantly reduces industrial animal agriculture.
“Reducing the number of animals raised and slaughtered is a legitimate and essential component of tackling climate change.
“…Ignoring the immense climate impact of industrial animal farming is no longer an option. And, the COP26 climate change conference offers a vital opportunity for world leaders to take action.”
Other cosignatories include Veganuary, The Vegan Society, Farm Sanctuary, and Compassion In World Farming.