Today is the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, organised by the COP26 Coalition. One of the key demands – under the banner ‘Fight for 1.5’ – is for world leaders to act decisively to keep the increase in global temperatures below 1.5°C.
Another key demand of today is, “Each country’s carbon emission reduction must be proportional to their fair share: how much they have contributed to the climate crisis through past emissions”. We know that the Global North, including the UK, is historically responsible for about two-thirds of climate damage.
So, many of our supporters march today demanding that Global North leaders at COP26 transition our food systems away from industrial animal use. This is vital to achieving the 1.5°C cap in a fair way.
Therefore, we welcome the announcement that over 40 world leaders – including from the US and the EU – have signed up to a ‘Breakthrough Agenda’ with five Glasgow Breakthroughs, including:
“Agriculture: Climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture is the most attractive and widely adopted option for farmers everywhere by 2030.”
The AIM for Climate/AIM4C initiative, which helps back up this specific Glasgow Breakthrough Pledge, focuses upon ‘innovation and investment’ in climate-smart agriculture and food. AIM4C is dealing in billions of dollars of finance.
However, our need to urgently, fairly transition away from farming animals is not mentioned.
We know there is already extensive, existing plant-based food and farming knowledge – knowledge that is maintained by Indigenous communities, studied mostly by small and grass-roots organisations committed to climate justice, practiced predominantly on small farms.
What we need is for this existing climate-smart agriculture to be accessible to everyone. Therefore, we call for world leaders at COP26 to urgently commit to investing in plant-based land management methods: Help our farmers transition to growing plant-based proteins – like peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils and grains – which are the foundation of a climate-resilient, healthy, sustainable and fair food system for us all.
Learn more from our Achieving Climate Goals through Plant-Based Agriculture and Food Policy Briefing.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.