CLIMATE AND AGRICULTURE
hsi at the UNFCC talks - climate and agriculture
HSI's Geoff Orme-Evans reports that the second round of climate change negotiations in June 2014, in Bonn, Germany, was successful. HSI organised a side event with leading NGO and IGO experts to dicuss a "principles framwork" for land use in the next global climate change agreement (the Durban Platform or ADP), which is due to be signed at the end of next year. HSI's talk centred on animal agriculture's immense environmental footprint and the extreme toll that industrial farming takes on the welfare of farm animals. The next climate agreement needs to take these into account, for example, by looking to policies and public education on the benefits of the Three R's: reducing our consumption of animals, refining the way we treat farm animals to ensure high animal-welfare standards; and replacing animals in the diet with plant-based options. Orme-Evans also spoke on another side event on addressing the drivers of deforestation and climate change, in which animal agriculture plays a large role.
On the negotiations themselves, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) was able to agree to a series of agricultural submissions and workshops that will take the work through the end of 2016. It remains to be seen whether the discussions on "practices and technologies to enhance productivity in a sustainable manner, food security and resilience" will lead to systems that support animals, small farmers, and the environment. But, HSI will of course actively push towards these ends. We know that raising over 75 billion land animals worldwide each year for consumption is simply unsustainable, contributing to climate change and major environmental issues, as well as severe impairment to animals welfare. Let's hope that countries around the world start to see this, too. For more animal agricultural and climate change, check out our webpage, and for HSI's report, "The Impact of Animal Agriculture on Global Warming and Climate Change" click here.
The Impact of Animal Agriculture on Global Warming and Climate Change
The farm animal production sector is the single largest anthropogenic user of land, contributing to soil degradation, dwindling water supplies and air pollution, in addition to detrimentally impacting rural and urban communities, public health and animal welfare. The breadth of this sector's global impacts has been largely underestimated and underappreciated. Indeed, meat, egg and milk production are not narrowly focused on the direct rearing and slaughtering of farm animals. Rather, the animal agriculture sector encompasses grain and fertilizer production, substantial water use, and significant energy expenditures to transport feed, farm animals, and finished meat, egg, and dairy products. Read more