Our food system is in a state of emergency.
Today, farmed animals are responsible for 16.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Unabated, animal agriculture is set to take up 49% of the GHG budget allowable under the Paris Agreement till 2030 and the full budget by 2050. Malnutrition and obesity is on the rise, primary forests are being cleared at an alarming rate, and our soil, land, air and water systems are compromised. There is an urgent need to address food production and consumption to have any chance of staying below 1.5 degrees.
In an effort to limit global warming and the climate crisis, over 50 of the world’s leading scientists have called for a reduction in livestock production from middle and high-income countries. The effort is championed by Dr. Helen Harwatt, Food & Climate Policy Fellow from the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program, Harvard Law School.
Supporting the scientific community, 50by40, along with 29 partner organisations have signed on to the demands of the letter.
The diversity of civil society organisations – spanning health, climate change, biodiversity, youth, faith, animal welfare, grassroots, and social justice – illustrates the crucial need to transform the food system as a core issue across multiple sectors.
Through this initiative, we ask countries to:
- Declare a time frame for ‘peak livestock’ – a commitment to peaking the quantity of total livestock production from each species.
- Identify the largest emitters and set reduction targets for production.
- Diversify food production by replacing livestock with carbon and health friendly foods such as pulses, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
- Restore native vegetation cover of uncultivated land to minimize emissions.
Find the coverage on the Lancet here.
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License link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Article link: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(19)30245-1/fulltext