Support Just Livestock Transition

Support Just Livestock Transition at the UN Food Systems Summit & UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)

On 21st September, ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit, we organised the ‘Just Livestock Transition: a game-changing solution to the food system crisis’ event. We explored how #JustLivestockTransition could equitably address industrialised farming’s impact on food systems and what steps should be taken to enable this solution at the UN Food Systems Summit and Climate Change Conference in 2021.

Livestock production contributes at least 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. If current levels are maintained, it is estimated that livestock production will account for roughly 81% of the 1.5°C emissions budget by 2050. Already, present trends in livestock production are severely endangering our planet’s ecosystems, natural resources, livelihoods, human health, and animal welfare. If intensive animal agriculture continues at the current pace, it will render the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) unachievable. A Just Transition in Livestock Production should be enabled to mitigate climate change, secure livelihoods, improve the environment and health.

Through an open letter, numerous organisations and individuals worldwide are calling on the Member States engaged in the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) and Climate Change Conference (COP26):

1. To publicly recognise that reducing industrialised livestock* production and consumption is essential to meet the global targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Focusing on technological improvements cannot address the core problem and will only delay and deepen the engulfed climate, environmental,  health, food and nutrition security crises.

2. To apply the principles of Just Transition** to enable a global equitable transformation within livestock production which could serve as a strong driver of job creation, social justice, poverty reduction and better public health.

*Any animal, land or sea, raised for human consumption in large-scale industrial facilities.

**The guiding principles for Just Transition are listed in the Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all (Page 5). 2015. The International Labour Organisation (ILO).


We can collectively encourage policymakers to take ambitious steps towards a fair, healthy and compassionate global food system. Join us in spurring transformative action by expressing your support and signing onto the letter. Ahead of the UNFSS and COP26, the letter will be shared with the Member States of the United Nations to address #JustLivestockTransition.

Just Transition of livestock production brings numerous environmental, health, and socioeconomic benefits, such as:

  • Freeing up land for food production, conservation, reforestation, ecosystem restoration, and mitigating climate change.  
  • Ensuring food sovereignty and sustaining livelihoods through Indigenous, traditional and small-scale animal farming where other food options or means of subsistence are scarce or nonexistent.
  • Creating more robust public health by saving millions of lives and cutting health-related costs.
  • Improving the socioeconomics of the farming system including a revitalisation of rural economies.

If you’re still curious about why you should sign up, please read the cross-cutting solution on #JustLivestockTransition. The solution offers accessible and equitable pathways for reducing livestock production through job creation, social justice, poverty reduction, and better public health.

Full List of Call to Action Signatories

  • Charlotte E. Blattner, Dr. iur., LL.M. (Harvard) – Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Institute of Public Law, University of Bern
  • Jeremy Radachowsky – Director, Mesoamerica and Caribbean, Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Sacha Lucassen – Lawyer, Center for Dyrs Forsvar (Center for Animal Defense)
  • Mercedes Quesada-Embid – Associate Professor, Environmental Policy and Advocacy, Catawba College
  • Susan Vitka – Investor and Activist
  • Eleanor Boyle – Writer, Educator, Activist, Sustainable Food, Attainable Health
  • Janet McGarry – Writer
  • Ryan Andrews – Dietitian, Integrating Personal and Planetary Health
  • Marygold Walsh-Dilley – Associate Professor University of New Mexico
  • Dr Jeremy Brice – Postdoctoral Researcher, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford
  • Lauren Baker – Senior Director of Programs, Global Alliance for the Future of Food
  • Sidy Niang – Social Policy Officer, FAO
  • Jan Deckers – Senior Lecturer in Health Care Ethics and Law, Newcastle University
  • Mads Fischer-Moller – Professor, Scotland’s Rural College
  • Iris M. Bergmann – Independent Scholar, University of Sydney
  • Blerida Banushi – Scientist, University of Queensland
  • Alice Southgate – Professor, Instituto Federal de Educação
  • Eleanor Boyle – Founder, MobilizeFood!
  • Camille Le Breguet – Senior climate change economist, UN

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