In the animal agriculture industry, more than 88 billion animals are raised and slaughtered for food every year. This industry is responsible for an estimated 14.5% - 16.5% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions globally, on par with emissions levels of the entire transport sector.
Despite animal agriculture being one of the largest contributors to climate change, it is "largely neglected by countries around the world in climate change mitigation strategies and commitments".
In an open letter addressed to the president of the COP26 conference Hon. Alok Sharma MP, NGOs such as Humane Society International, World Animal Protection, Brighter Green Compassion in World Farming, 50by40 and The Humane League call on the COP26 conference, taking place in Glasgow, Scotland in November, to formally acknowledge animal agriculture’s climate impact.
The groups hope that formal recognition at COP26 will encourage world leaders to commit to meat and dairy consumption reduction strategies to meet the Paris Agreement’s below two degrees Celcius target.
“If we are serious about avoiding climate catastrophe, world leaders must acknowledge the science and implement strategies to change our global food system to one that significantly reduces industrial animal agriculture … Ignoring the immense climate impact of industrial animal farming is no longer an option and the COP26 climate change conference offers a vital opportunity for world leaders to take action,” she said.