We need to talk about animal agriculture
To The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP,
Urgent action is required to ensure 2021 marks the beginning of a just and equitable transition worldwide towards a healthy sustainable plant-based food system for all.
The window of opportunity to make a 1.5°C future possible is rapidly closing. Delayed action will bring even more violent and devastating impacts to the climate crisis, causing irreversible harm.
Ahead of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference, governments and public finance institutions have a clear task to promote a climate-safe, equitable transition towards a plant-based food system. We call on them to:
- Immediately rule out any new deforestation for animal agriculture, this means no clearing of forests or other ecosystems for animal grazing, animal rearing, animal feed or animal farming of any kind.
- Immediately convert all Marine Protected Areas to Highly Protected Marine Areas.
- Immediately introduce a “meat tax”.
- Immediately end government subsidized advertising for the meat, dairy and egg industry. Start redirecting agricultural subsidies away from animal agriculture in favour of sustainable plant-based foods, with organic agro-ecological systems benefiting the most.
- Immediately introduce public information campaigns to raise awareness about the link between food systems and climate change and actively promote plant-based solutions.
- Phase out the purchasing of animal products in government buildings, public institutions and events in favour of plant-based options.
- Form Green Bond Committees at the government level and issue green bonds to fund projects that help mitigate climate change and help high carbon footprint animal farmers transition to low carbon footprint plant producers.
- Make plans to repurpose available land freed up from animal grazing for: rewilding, reforestation (if appropriate), nature reserves, hiking zones, community growing, allotments (if appropriate), agroecological food growing (where possible).
Progressive governments and public finance institutions should launch a joint statement with the objective of starting negotiations for a Plant Based Treaty at COP26*, and ensure that others follow suit. As the COP26 host, we call on the UK to show leadership to deliver on this agenda.
* We express solidarity with civil society groups calling for the postponement of COP26. But under no circumstance should climate action be postponed.
Eli Avidar, (Yisrael Beiteinu), Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Israel
Maurizio Acerbo, Segretario Nazionale, Italy, (Rifondazione Comunista-Sinistra Europea)
Dr Tomasz Aniśko, MP, Poland, (Partia Zieloni)
Gianluca Barbuto, Operatore Servizi Ambientali, Italy
Philipp Bruck, MdBB, Germany, (Greens)
Martin Buschmann, MEP, Germany, (Independent)
Juan Carlos Losada Vargas, Member of the House of Representatives of Colombia, (Colombia Liberal Party)
Camila Cirlini, Member of the Communal Parliament of Guetersloh, Germany, (Die Linke)
David Cormand, MEP, France, (Greens / European Free Alliance)
Daniele Diaco, Spokesperson, Assemblea Capitolina in Rome, President of Commission IV Environment of Roma Capitale, Italy
Clare Daly, MEP, Ireland, (TheLeft)
Alistair Dewhirst, Deputy Leader Teignbridge District Council, UK (Liberal Democrats)
Eleonora Evi, MEP, Italy, (Greens)
Francisco Guerreiro, MEP, Portugal, (Greens)
Anja Hazekamp, MEP, The Netherlands, (Party of the Animals)
The Hon Emma Hurst, MLC, NSW, Australia, (Animal Justice Party)
Mayor Justin Massey, Hermosa Beach, California, USA
Elena Mazzoni, Responsabile Nazionale Ambiente, (Rifondazione Comunista-Sinistra Europea)
Andy Meddick MP, Australia, (Animal Justice Party)
Adib Murshed, Lord Governor & Chief Magistrate, Jerusalem (corpus separatum), (Liberal Democrats)
Manuela Ripa, MEP, Germany, (Ökologisch-Demokratische Partei)
Senator Julia Salazar, New York, (Democratic Party & Working Families Party)
Dr Sylwia Spurek MEP, Poland, (Greens / European Free Alliance)
Cllr. Richard Nicholson, Haywards Heath, United Kingdom (Green Party)
Sónia Pires, Tavira City councillor, Portugal (Socialist Party)