Aren't fossil fuels the problem?
Fossil fuels are a major part of the problem, but not the only cause of global warming and the environmental crisis. Animal agriculture is a leading contributor of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, and a leading cause of severe environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution, ocean acidification, species extinction, water waste and many other pressing issues.
We need to tackle both issues simultaneously if we want to avert the worst impacts of climate change. According to IPCC expert reviewer Peter Carter from the Climate Emergency Institute, we need to do everything and we need to do it now.
To support efforts against fossil fuels, please endorse the Fossil Fuel Treaty.
Why do we need a treaty? Don’t we already have the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement is essentially about negotiating how much space is left in the atmosphere for carbon before we hit 1.5 degrees Celsius warming, but does not focus on production. It is silent on animal agriculture and does not have the capacity or tools to halt and reverse its unwavering expansion. It also ignores other planetary boundaries such as water pollution, soil and ocean acidification, ocean dead zones, deforestation and species extinction which are all major threats to the future of our planet. For example, chicken farming is a major cause of soil acidification.
How are you going to enforce a Plant Based Treaty?
The first stage is to build a global coalition. You start with people, groups, business and cities calling for changes, until this pressure builds at the national level. That will lead to global agreements on plant based solutions. Ultimately, enforcement will come at a national level, or through bilateral and trade agreements.
How can I support the movement for a Plant Based Treaty?
Make it yours! The treaty is for everyone. First of all endorse the treaty and pledge to help collect sign ups. Then visit our campaign hub, where we are producing as many resources as possible so you can take this on and add it to your campaigns.
Whether you are a student, or employee campaigning for a vegan canteen, a politician voting against animal agricultural subsidies, or an activist standing in front of a bulldozer trying to stop a forest being cleared for animal feed, you can be calling on your government to endorse the Plant Based Treaty. If we unite in our call to action, our voices are louder and have a greater impact.
Isn’t this treaty too far ahead of its time?
The Plant Based Treaty reflects the urgency we face and will help shape the conversation. Our approach is science based, relying on UN scientific warnings, Breaking Boundaries, and the leaked IPCC report about how we are approaching tipping points faster than previously thought.
We are here to speak the truth about the solutions required this decade to avert the climate crisis, there really is no time to lose.
Why are there so many demands?
In demand one, which calls for not making the problem worse, we have to look at the entire production cycle, whether it’s animal farms, slaughterhouses as well as deforestation for farms and soy and corn based animal feed.
In demand two, promoting plant-based, we have to look at all the educational, economic policy and legislative tools available.
In demand three, regarding restoration, we do need to plant trees to draw the carbon out of the atmosphere but we also need to restore peatlands and rewild the oceans.
What about 'regenerative' grazing?
The Oxford University Grazed and Confused report shows, cows fed on grass release more greenhouse gas emissions than they are able to offset through soil carbon sequestration. This means that animals reared on grass are net contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and a key driver of the climate crisis.
Lead author of the study, Dr Tara Garnett says rearing grass-fed cows “is in no way a climate solution. Rising animal production and consumption, whatever the farming system and animal type, is causing damaging greenhouse gas release and contributing to changes in land use.”
This report finds that grazing cattle does not offer a significant solution to climate change and carbon could only be sequestered under very specific conditions and even then the carbon sequestered is “small, time-limited, reversible and substantially outweighed by the greenhouse gas emissions these grazing animals generate”.