Skip to main content
Search Results

World leaders urged to address impact of food production on climate change

2nd Nov 2021 - 06:00
COP26 climate change food net carbon zero
More than 100 NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and high-profile figures have urged world leaders to properly address the impact of food and animal agriculture on climate change at COP26.

In a joint statement, coordinated by Compassion in World Farming, a host of stars including actor Joanna Lumley, Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden and environmentalist Stanley Johnson, along with thought leaders, scientists and academics such as Raj Patel, Carl Safina and Jonathan Porritt, urge world leaders to ensure the impact of food and agriculture on climate change forms a central part of discussions at COP26.

The statement is also supported by numerous animal welfare and environmental charities including Greenpeace UK, OneKind, the RSPCA, Friends of the Earth, Brighter Green, the RSPB and World Animal Protection.

The statement reads:

‘COP26 is bringing together world leaders to tackle the dangerous and unprecedented climate emergency. We urge governments to seize COP Nature Day on 6th November to properly address the impact of food and animal agriculture. People are relying on their leadership – we need a commitment to immediate global action towards creating sustainable, healthy food systems for the benefit of animals, people and the planet.

‘Our planet is in crisis. The issue of food and agriculture impact needs to form a central part of the discussion and world leaders need to be ready to bring about serious change.

‘If the way we eat does not change substantially, as a matter of urgency, we will fail to meet climate targets and the science says the repercussions will be catastrophic. Global meat and dairy consumption must be greatly reduced if we are to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A move to higher-welfare, nature-friendly agriculture is also essential if we are to reduce biodiversity loss. The world is watching.’

Sean Gifford, global director of campaigns at Compassion in World Farming, said: “World leaders are gathering at COP26 to try and solve the escalating climate emergency, yet they are ignoring the ‘cow’ in the room.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that meat consumption is a major driver of the climate crisis, national governments are failing to acknowledge the central role that food and agriculture plays in destroying our planet.”

In addition to the joint statement, Compassion will be launching a new report at COP26 on Friday (November 5th), which sets out the scientific case for a dramatic global reduction in meat consumption.

Written by
David Foad