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50by40 aims to make a Just Transition in animal agriculture a key focus in the global shift towards more resilient, equitable, and sustainable food systems.
Animal agriculture is arguably one of the biggest issues of our time. Responsible for at least 14.5% of all GHG emissions worldwide, animal agriculture is exacerbating the climate emergency, water crisis, gender divide, biodiversity loss and food related health disorders.
Recent publications, such as the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land and the EAT-Lancet report highlighted the urgent need to reduce our reliance on livestock production and consumption as we move toward a low-carbon, more resilient society.
At 50by40, we believe that a Just Transition has to be at the core of a fairer and more compassionate food system.
While we move away from the most unsustainable forms of livestock production, we need to make sure this transition supports rather than undercuts the millions of farmers, families and communities that will be affected.
This is why we strongly advocate for the idea of a Just Livestock Transition, and believe it is critical to moving towards climate-compatible food systems.
The Case for a Just Livestock Transition
Although the need for a Just Transition is already widely recognised in regards to the energy sector, it has received little attention thus far when it comes to the global food system.
Considering the learnings from a Just Energy Transition, we believe that a Just Transition within the livestock sector is not only possible, but can also bring numerous environmental as well as socio-economic benefits.
The current evidence base on the economic impacts of a Just Transition in the livestock sector are scarce. Yet, the initial findings assessing the transition from meat-heavy diets to a more plant based diet point to a substantial growth in jobs.
‘Transitions to environmentally and socially sustainable economies can become a strong driver of job creation, job upgrading, social justice and poverty reduction.’International Labour Organisation
A recent assessment by the International Labour Organisation and Inter-American Development Bank predicts that a transition to plant-based diets would create 19 million jobs in Latin America and The Caribbean.
The Netherlands has also developed a scheme to reduce pollution from pigs by compensating pig farmers.
How 50by40 is involved
50by40 works to ensure that the need for Just Transition in animal agriculture is recognised and actioned. To do that, we provide thought leadership, convene global dialogues, organise events, and work to advance the evidence base to help policymakers visualize the shift and its benefits.
On 25 November, we drew attention to the climate mitigation potential of livestock reduction by hosting a panel discussion at the EAT@Home virtual meeting.
The meeting sought to address some of the most pertinent questions impacting this transition, such as: Can lessons from a Just Energy Transition help guide the path for the New Coal? And Is animal agriculture an exceptional sector which needs a different approach?
On 30 June 2020, 50by40 initiated a global conversation on a Just Transition within livestock production by convening a global high-level COVID-19 Food Systems Dialogues (FSDs) event.
The online event brought together 73 experts spanning 53 organisations across the globe. The discussion focussed on how a Just Transition within livestock production can be successfully embedded in the efforts to achieve a resilient food system.
With this and future dialogues, 50by40 aims to curate a conversation which ensures a Just Transition is a core part of the process of transforming our food systems.
50by40 is currently setting up a Just Transition Task Force to respond quickly and effectively to emerging opportunities leading up to the UN Food Systems Summit and COP26. It will bring together key stakeholders working for a better food future.
Through a strategic approach to our work in 2021, we hope to significantly advance the case for Just Transition in animal agriculture.