With the official declaration of a climate emergency, the UK government has committed to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, in order to ensure it achieves net zero emissions by 2050. The environmental impact of dietary choices and animal agriculture however, is often markedly absent from this debate. We have therefore been campaigning for politicians to recognise the role of veganism in tackling the climate crisis, by adopting policies that encourage plant-based diets and support our existing campaigns.
Did you know?
- The UN IPCC says that the world needs to reach net zero CO₂ emissions by 2050, and net zero other GHG emissions (such as methane and nitrous oxide) by 2070
- Co-ordinated and substantive actions by Governments – and the largest institutions, corporations, and land managers – are vital for net zero emissions.
- The global contribution of animal farming to GHG emissions is agreed to be 14.5% - more than the direct emissions from all transport combined
- The UK provides good conditions for growing plant proteins for direct human consumption to counter this, such as fava beans, peas, hemp seed or sweet lupin
In response to the Climate Emergency declaration, formal letters signed by our Chief Executive were sent to major political parties – including Labour, Liberal Democrats, SNP, Welsh Government & UK Parliament - advocating for policies that incorporate the following three steps:
- Encourage the nation to adopt an increasingly plant-based diet
- Implement policies for public sector institutions such as schools, hospitals and care homes to offer vegan meals as standard on menus every day - part of the Catering for Everyone campaign
- Provide financial and practical support for farmers who wish to move away from livestock farming, to growing crops for direct human consumption - part of the Grow Green campaign
There is now leading evidence to support such measures - the Committee for Climate Change have directly stated that the 'public sector should take a strong lead by providing plant-based options in schools and hospitals' to encourage nutritious and sustainable diets, and the International Panel on Climate Change have explicitly highlighted that a vegan diet has the highest GHG mitigation potential. It is now imperative that the government adopt environmentally sustainable policies across all sectors.
Download our Climate Emergency policy briefing to find out more about the actions that need to be taken to meet our climate targets.
Get involved – climate emergency placards
People are coming together to join climate emergency marches across the UK during COP26. Find one near you and unite together to raise awareness that the government must acknowledge the role of food in tackling the climate crisis and take action.
If you plan on attending a march to support climate action, please feel free to support dietary change by printing the following banners: