Ahead of COP26, youth activists are increasing pressure on governments to address animal agriculture and its impact on the climate, ocean, biodiversity and animal crisis.
The phasing out of fossil fuels alone, will not be enough to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. This statement recommends critical steps that can be taken to help nations meet their obligations under the Paris Agreement.
Please find the full text of the statement at the following link (and pasted below), then add your name to this letter using the form underneath the letter.
** FULL TEXT**
As youth leaders, we call on national governments to negotiate and implement an international Plant Based Treaty this decade, to avoid facing a climate catastrophe.
To The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP,
As youth leaders, we call on governments to negotiate, adopt and implement a Plant Based Treaty. Animal agriculture is fueling the climate, oceans, biodiversity and animal crisis. Along with fossil fuels, it is the nuclear weapon of our generation. We face an imminent threat and our future is rapidly disappearing before our eyes.
The youth of today are not only inheriting a world that is burning, flooding and melting, but we are being born into it. Current projections show that we are on track to reach 1.5C warming around the year 2030 and 2C by 2040.
We are adding our voices to the individuals, scientists, doctors, organizations and businesses calling for a Plant Based Treaty that phases out animal agriculture and ensures a fair and just transition towards a plant-based food system.
GRETA CUTHELL (17), PLANT BASED TREATY YOUTH AMBASSADOR:
“As we approach COP26, I feel deeply disheartened by the continuous ignorance that our world leaders are showing by not addressing the dire impacts of animal agriculture on our futures. We can no longer ignore the fact that raising and killing animals to consume is one of the most unsustainable things we can be doing for our planet. We can no longer gloss over these industries and look at them through rose-coloured glasses.
The time to act is now. We must act now to avoid facing a world where no one belongs. The truth is, this continued inaction from our governments is not only hurting me and the youth of the present, but it will impact future generations for centuries to come. It is not too late to take meaningful action to reverse damage to the environment, but 2021 is a make-it-or-break-it year. We must phase out animal agriculture, and we must do it now.”
This year’s COP26 Climate Talks in Glasgow is a critical time for the future of our planet. Policy makers must show leadership and address the causes of the climate crisis. They must act with justice and equity. They must lead a green recovery.
In the recent IPCC sixth assessment report, scientists warned that we need to cut methane emissions urgently to avoid facing a widespread collapse. This carbon-rich gas, produced predominantly from animal agriculture, heats the world far quicker than carbon dioxide – it has a “warming potential” more than 80 times stronger than that of CO2. Even if fossil fuel emissions stop immediately, emissions from our food systems alone could increase global temperatures by more than 1.5C in the near future. Lead reviewer of the IPCC, Durwood Zaelke, said methane reductions were most likely the “only way” of preventing a temperature rise of above 1.5C. He warns that if this is not achieved, extreme weather patterns will increase and several planetary tipping points could be triggered, from which there is no coming back. Zaelke points out that “cutting methane is the biggest opportunity to slow warming between now and 2040. We need to face this emergency.”
GENESIS BUTLER (14), PLANT BASED TREATY YOUTH AMBASSADOR:
“Youth around the world are urging world leaders at COP26 to not only start shifting away from fossil fuels, but to also shift away our current food system based on animal products, which is not climate friendly. Please act now. We don’t have time to waste.”
Addressing fossil fuels alone is not enough – we need immediate action on food systems too. The three main greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are at record levels and rapidly accelerating; animal agriculture contributes to all three but is the main driver of methane and nitrous oxide emissions globally.
Now is the time for governments to phase out animal agriculture. The science is clear, and the desire to move towards a better future is strong. We call on governments and policymakers to urgently commence negotiations to adopt and implement a Plant Based Treaty, laying out a binding global plan to:
- Relinquish – Committing to no land use change, ecosystem degradation or deforestation for the purpose of animal agriculture.
- Redirect – Actively transitioning away from animal based food systems to more sustainable plant-based food systems. As well as:
- Restore – Actively restoring key ecosystems and reforesting the Earth.
We, the youth, refuse to compromise on our lives and the rights of others. We will not give up on fighting for a better future and present. A shift towards a plant-based food system is drastically needed in our fight for a world that leaves no one behind.
We youth will not stop. We are not backing down until animal agriculture is phased out and we begin our just transition.
We refuse to continue having our voices and participation in the climate crisis tokenized or silenced at global climate conferences. All at the same time, world leaders continue to support fossil fuels and animal agriculture interests, making crucial decisions behind closed doors. Not only are our voices completely dismissed, but those who live in the areas most vulnerable to the climate crisis are actively threatened, and our lives are put on the line, especially Indigenous youth – the environmental defenders of our planet.
Our house is on fire and it is time to extinguish the flames. Time is running out. We are fighting for a world that leaves no one behind.
Greta Cuthall, 17, Australia, Youth Climate Save Victoria
Genesis Butler, 14, USA, Youth Climate Save
Brunna Sachs, 12, Brasil, Youth Climate Save Brasil
Ana Piersso, 20, México, CDMX Climate Save
Adriana Ximena Gonzalez Ramirez, 20, México, CDMX Climate Save
Juana Agustín, 18, Argentina
Brenda Palacios Flores, 25, México
Abril Gioia, 25, Argentina, Chubut Climate Save
Sara Ailén Alvarengo, Argentina, Chubut Climate Save
Natasha Sofia Krywenki, 19, Argentina, Fridays for Future Rosario
Gael Sampedro, 20, Argentina, Climate Save Argentina
Muriel Otero Treacey, 22, Argentina, Climate Save
Alexis Soto, 23, Argentina
José María Britez, 20, Argentina, XR Rosario
Sofía Vergara Moya, 19, Argentina Fridays For Future
Nicolas Zagert, 24, Argentina
Melissa Cobb, 22, UK
Morgan Janowicz, 24, Poland, Green Rev Institute
Naman Dedhia, 19, India, Mumbai Animal Save
Amelia Falconer, 25, Australia
Bayo Alagbe, 24, Nigeria, Global Alliance for Ministry and infrastructure for Peace (GAMIP), Youth Forum
Prajesh Palaniraj, 19, India
Tanmayi Shinde, 20, Sagar Seva, Fridays For Future, Jeevitnadi, Concerned Punekars, India
Deborah Romola Opanike, 22, Nigeria, GAMIP
Clement Oluwapelumi, 24, Nigeria, GAMIP
Patrícia Ramos, 23, Portugal
Imogen Baines, 20, UK
Lizbeth T, 19, Panama, Animal Save Movement
Scully Mendoza, 20, Panama, Animal Save Panama
Khushi Tatawat, 19, India, Indore Animal Save
Rosmy Postigo, 20, Peru
Tamara Velazquez, 25, Argentina
Joaquín Lisandro Martinez, 24, Argentina
Maya Lewis, 18, United States
Isidro Isidro Sánchez, 25, Argentina, Climate Save
Glenda Mangia, 25, Argentina, Ecoclub Paraná
Bryanna Cañete, 18, Argentina
Marina Corvalan, 19, Argentina, Difusión V
Ruth Nelci Huacca Arce, 24, Colombia, Medellín Climate Save
Prutha Goswami, 21, India
Natalia Galindo, 21, México, Hermosillo Animal Save
Felix Quinn, 19, Australia
Daniel Orrego, 23, Colombia
Alicia Young, 22, Australia, University of Melbourne Vegan Club
Pamela Huacca, 23, Colombia, Climate Save Medellin -Colombia
Rachel Lowenberg, 18, Canada, Future Majority
Gabriela Ramirez, 20, México
Martina Andriossi, 18, Argentina, Health Save
Maria Camila Mármol Quintero, 19, Colombia, Animal Save Medellin
Ivana Yazmín Gauto, 21, Argentina
Marlene Teufel, 23, Germany Peta2 Street Team
Luisa Keil, 22, Germany
Emilio Navarro, 25, España, Youth Climate Save Valencia
Hernan Perez Guardo, 21, Argentina, Health save
Estefanía Santos, 23, Argentina
Verónica A. Morel Graziani, 24, Argentina, Health Save Argentina
Julieta di Chiara, 21, Argentina
Chloe Thompson, 25, UK
Daniela Matías, 18, México
Alejandro Villegas Rosa, 24, Spain
Angeles Saavedra, 19, México, Puebla Climate Save
Daniela González, 18, México, Laguna Animal Save
Alejandra Gallego, 28, Colombia
Andrea Nakagawa, 18, Peru
Roli Jain, 29, India
Akshay Jain, 24, India,
Muskaan Tatawat, 23, India
Parva Jain, 20, India
Elizabeth Alejandra, 22, Perú, DifusionVeganaLima
Rabia Turhan, 21, Yenimahalle, Ankara animal save
Amelia Falconer, 25, Australia
Umti Alis, 22, Turkey
Maria Margarida Soares Henriques, 16, Portugal
Louise Karaska-McDonald, 18, UK, Youth Animal Save England,
Merve Çelik, 23, Turkey, Ankara Animal Save
Netanel Shaller, 25, Israel, Israel animal save
Ohad Ben shlomo, 20, Israel
Mawu Caceres, 28, Argentina, Animal Save Movement
Bee Labutale, 20, UK, Youth Climate Save
Benjamin Foster, 19, UK
Maria Fernanda Salles, 18, Brazil, Youth Animal Save Brasil
C Phillips, 23, Ontario
Sophia Hatamleh, 17, USA, Youth Climate Save
Carlos Carvalho, 21, Portugal
Zurisadai Meza, 23, México
Gaya Elgarbi, 21, Israel
María Belén Baño, 19, Ecuador
Halel Shafir, 18, Israel
Reut Bleicher, 19, Israel
Chiel van der Wal, 18, The Netherlands, Youth Climate Save
Nikhita Kalluri’s, 19, USA, Youth Climate Save
Brian Kiptoo, 18, Kenya
Gema Bello Justo, 21, Puebla Animal Save
Juan Carlos, 25, Puebla, Voluntario
Chelsea Giles, 19, México, Climate Save
Nelly Valenzuela, 24, México, Climate Save Puebla
Berkay Yıldırır, 22, Turkey
Raymundo San Martin, 25, México, Puebla Climate save
Matilde Signorini, 24, Italy
Mariana Guagnini, 25, Argentina, Health save Argentina