Youth led protest erupts inside Bonn Climate Conference
Calls for Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture to shift to plant-based diets and present new Plant Based Treaty position paper backed by IPCC expert
10 June 2022
Images and video: Mass Media
Position paper: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Hqivx8M86niwP4IpEJLFHynK7dO8UZoH
The impromptu protest was led by youth activists from a coalition of groups including Plant Based Treaty, YOUNGO (Youth Constituency of UNFCCC), CAN (Climate Action Network) and DCJ (Demand Climate Justice).
The action was staged at the Santiago de Chile conference room, inside the Bonn Climate Change Conference at 9.45am, 10 June, 2022, just before the arrival of Koronivia negotiators and lasted for the duration of the negotiations. A Plant Based Treaty position paper entitled, “Appetite for a Plant Based Treaty. The IPCC repeatedly demonstrates that a vegan diet is the optimal diet to drastically reduce food related emissions” was delivered to every seat around the negotiating table urging delegates to include a Plant Based Treaty in their plans.
The protest was in direct response to the resistance from countries such as the United States, Brazil and the G77 for plant-based agroecology, sustainable diets, and a just transition to a plant-based food system to be included in the final Korinivia texts that will be presented at COP27 this autumn in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Plant Based Treaty campaigner, Yael Hanna says, “This is a do or die decade, particularly when it comes to the methane crisis. We need an immediate and rapid shift away from animal-based foods to plant-based foods in response to the climate emergency. The science presented by the IPCC is irrefutable, a vegan diet is the optimal diet for the planet and we need to negotiate a Plant Based Treaty now.”
Yesterday, Plant Based Treaty climate campaigners were at the entrance of the conference with a food truck and inflatable cow where they distributed over 500 free vegan hotdogs to delegates in response to the lack of plant-based options offered by the venue. Activists who have returned today (Friday) and will be there tomorrow, have been asked to move the truck further from the entrance following reports of slow sales of predominantly animal-based foods inside the venue.
The Plant Based Treaty position paper has been endorsed by over 100 groups and prominent individuals. It offers a roadmap for a fast and just transition to a plant-based food system this decade in response to the climate emergency.
Dr Peter Carter, IPCC expert reviewer and Director of the Climate Emergency Institute who endorsed the position paper, said, “The science is definite, global climate catastrophe cannot be averted without the elimination of meat and dairy in our diet, and that must happen fast. Ethically, all unnecessary methane sources have to be cut as fast and far as feasible. That means global veganization is now a survival imperative.”
- The vegan diet is the optimal diet to fight climate change and could, according to the IPCC (2020) Special Report on Land Use, save almost 8 Gigatons Equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions plus more than double if we take in account reforestation of lands currently used to farm animals.
- Animal agriculture is responsible for 32% of human-caused methane. Recently, 112 countries signed a Global Methane Pledge to cut emissions by 30% by 2030. The Global Methane Pledge falls short of the 45% cuts needed; the states that have made pledges represent only about half of human caused emissions. In addition, the pledge is voluntary and unenforceable, and is yet to offer a road map to meet targets.
- The Declaration on Forests and Land Use launched at COP26 has been signed by 141 countries. Since the declaration, deforestation attributed to animal agriculture has continued unabated. Destruction of the Amazon in the first four months of 2022 hit records with 1,954 square km deforested, an increase of 69% compared to the same period of 2021, clearing an area more than double the size of New York City. According to research by Joseph Poore and Thomas Nemecek, globally almost 80% of farmland is used to rear animals yet produces just 18% of global calories. Plant Based Treaty calls for a just transition to a plant-based food system with the support of government through taxes and subsidies in order to reforest reclaimed animal agricultural land.
There are growing calls for a Plant Based Treaty from a coalition of 750 groups, 600 businesses, 15 cities, and 40,000 individuals, including IPCC expert reviewers, Nobel Laureates, and over a hundred politicians all endorsing this call to action to put pressure on national governments to negotiate an international Plant Based Treaty.
The Plant Based Treaty has three core principles: Relinquish the expansion of animal agriculture, Redirect policies favoring a plant-based food system and Restore ecosystems and reforest the Earth.