COP26: Our Challenge to World Leaders on Climate

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» COP26: Our Challenge to World Leaders on Climate

Today, the world COP26 Climate Change Conference opens in Glasgow.

The UK’s Prime Minister said on Monday that the situation is ‘touch and go’. Will politicians achieve the agreements needed to avoid global climate devastation?

We know vegan-friendly diets can cut your food-related carbon footprint by up to half in the UK. There are also significant climate benefits to plant-based food systems in other Global North countries (e.g. Australia, Canada, the EU countries, Russia, New Zealand, the USA etc.).

So, we’re urging leaders to put food and farming at the core of the Climate Change agenda in Glasgow.
The UK Government has committed us to reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by two-thirds by 2030. But that’s only the emissions produced within these islands (our territorial emissions as reported in our ‘Nationally Determined Contribution’ or NDC), not those GHGs created by our imports and ‘off-shore’ activities.

The UK footprint for the seven main GHGs* was most recently calculated to be equivalent to around 700 megatonnes of carbon dioxide (Mt CO2e) in 2018. That’s about 40% higher than our ‘territorial’ GHG total in the same year! 

So, our provisional 2020 territorial GHG emissions of 414 MtCO2e are probably that much lower than our total carbon footprint, too. Most countries of the Global North are in a similar situation. 
Meanwhile, the UK government have not even shown fully how we will achieve our existing commitments. The Climate Change Committee have advised the UK Government to support us to produce and eat 20% less meat and milk products by 2030. But our UK Government still haven’t accepted that how we produce food is part of the climate crisis.

We at The Vegan Society are challenging the UK Government and the whole Global North to produce transparent plans and concrete actions which turn the climate crisis around.

As well as supporting individual people to make more sustainable choices with our campaign, we are encouraging UK farmers and policymakers to build a more sustainable food and farming system with our campaign and our new report.

Come and find out more in person or online from The Vegan Society at COP26.

Two smiling farmers in a pea field
Photo credit: Andy Hughes. Pru Elliot and Rich Hardy of Lazy Meadow Vegan Farm.

*The seven main greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – Carbon dioxide, CO2; methane, CH4; nitrous oxide, N2O; Hydro-flourocarbons, HFC; Perflurocarbons, PFC; Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and Sulphur hexafluoride, SF6.

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