#Scientists4LessMeat

Scientists call on OECD countries:

Put less meat on the table

at COP25 to tackle

the climate emergency!

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We are living in a climate emergency. We need to drastically and urgently reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, to maintain a safe climate and planet for us and future generations.

We cannot effectively address the climate crisis we are currently facing without tackling the huge impact that industrial meat production and consumption has on our planet. Animal farming currently causes 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions.  If we do not intervene this could even grow further.

In this letter, we call on OECD Governments to:

  1. Elevate the need for reducing the production and consumption of meat within global climate politics, including UNFCCC COPs and increase ambition on land sector climate action through protection of forests and other ecosystems.
  2. Include changes for planetary health diets as part of climate action plans at all levels of governance.
  3. Shift financial and policy incentives away from environmentally-damaging production practices towards measures supporting farmers in transition.

In addition, we are asking that the COP Secretariat publicly announce at COP25 a commitment to requiring that host countries should serve locally sourced, mainly plant-based food at all subsequent UNFCCC-sponsored global conferences.

We’re calling on OECD to act!

We will be delivering this letter to organizers at the COP25 Climate Conference in Madrid, which begins on Dec. 2, 2019.

Scientists call on governments of OECD countries to increase ambition in climate action plans by including the global need to reduce meat and dairy consumption

 

Dear Presidents, Prime Ministers and Heads of State of OECD countries (1),

 

Scientific consensus of currently observed and projected future climate and biodiversity impacts clearly calls for the rapid transformation of our society at all scales and across all sectors, in order to maintain a safe climate and planet for the future of humanity. This transformation must also include the food system, and especially the livestock sector – a fact that has not yet been acknowledged sufficiently in climate politics.

 

Between 21% and 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the food system (2), with direct emissions from livestock contributing 14.5% of all human greenhouse gas emissions (3). Meat and dairy production contributes greatly to tropical deforestation emissions. It has recently been shown that a sixth of the carbon footprint of average diets in Europe is due to such emissions (4). This is because livestock production requires large amounts of feed which is often produced from cropland expanding into newly deforested land (5) or other natural ecosystems.

 

Reducing supply and demand for livestock products, by producing less meat and dairy globally and eating less meat and dairy in regions with excessive consumption, will therefore be critical for addressing the climate emergency. Tackling overconsumption, starting with stringent measures in privileged societies, will also free up agricultural lands for growing human food rather than livestock feed.

 

According to recent scientific analysis, land-related climate actions offer up to 30% of mitigation needed for a 1.5ºC world, adding forest protection, ecosystem restoration and changes in agriculture systems, to the necessary transformation in energy, industry and transport (6).

 

However, land-related climate actions, and in particular food-system actions, have not yet received proportionate attention in international climate politics.

 

The IPCC’s special report on Climate Change and Land points to multiple solutions that can boost both mitigation and adaptation (7). Dietary change is one of these key response options which will have positive impacts on mitigation, land degradation and food security (8). Yet, this climate action measure is, today, absent from all submitted countries’ pledges to implement emissions reductions towards the Paris Agreement (Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) (9).

 

We call on Governments of OECD member countries to:

 

1) Consider the need for reducing the production and consumption of meat and dairy within global climate negotiations, including UNFCCC, as an important component of the ambition in countries’ pledges to implement emissions reductions towards the Paris Agreement (National Determined Contributions). At the same time, increase ambition on land sector climate action in nature based solutions, especially through protection and restoration of forests and other ecosystems (10).

2) Include dietary changes, for example an aim to achieve planetary healthy diets (11) as part of climate action plans at all levels of government (as many cities are already doing (12)).

3) Shift financial and policy incentives away from environmentally-damaging production practices towards measures supporting farmers in the transition to food systems that enable nutritionally and climate adequate diets and which also protect biodiversity.

 

In addition, we are asking that the COP Secretariat lead by example by publicly announcing at COP25 a commitment to requiring that host countries should serve locally sourced, mainly plant-based food at all subsequent UNFCCC-sponsored global conferences from COP25 onward which should include a plan to reduce food waste and disposable packaging.

 

These measures will significantly contribute to protecting forests and to reshaping the global food system through dietary change, which are two key solutions to the escalating land and climate crisis. As scientists working for the public good, we are ready to provide you with further scientific evidence about these important topics during the forthcoming UNFCCC COP meetings and beyond.

 

Regards,

The undersigned

 

 

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Note: Signatories speak on their own behalf, and not on behalf of their affiliated institutions.

 

References 

 

(1) OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries. We address the letter to OECD members which are also high meat-consuming countries with a greater responsibility and ability to address this issue. There are 36 member countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.

(2) IPCC Climate Change and Land, Summary for Policymakers, Table 1, page 9. August 2019.

(3) Gerber, P.J., Steinfeld, H., Henderson, B., Mottet, A., Opio, C., Dijkman, J., Falcucci, A. & Tempio, G. 2013. Tackling climate change through livestock – A global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome.

(4) Pendrill, F., Persson, U.M., Godar, J., Kastner, T., Moran, D., Schmidt, S. & Wood, R. 2019. Agricultural and forestry trade drives large share of tropical deforestation emissions. Global Environmental Change, 56, 1-10.

(5) Smith, P. 2018. Managing the global land resource. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 285: 20172798.

(6) Roe, S., Streck, C., Obersteiner, M., Frank, S., Griscom, B., Drouet, L., Fricko, O., Gusti, M., Harris, N., Hasegawa, T., Hausfather, Z., Havlík, P., House, J., Nabuurs, G.-J., Popp, A., Sánchez, M. J. S., Sanderman, J., Smith, P., Stehfest, E. & Lawrence, D. 2019. Contribution of the land sector to a 1.5 °C world. Nature Climate Change, 9: 817-828.

(7) IPCC Climate Change and Land, Summary for Policymakers. August 2019.

(8) IPCC Climate Change and Land, Summary for Policymakers. SPM Figure 3A. August 2019.

(9) Roe, S., Streck, C., Obersteiner, M., Frank, S., Griscom, B., Drouet, L., Fricko, O., Gusti, M., Harris, N., Hasegawa, T., Hausfather, Z., Havlík, P., House, J., Nabuurs, G.-J., Popp, A., Sánchez, M. J. S., Sanderman, J., Smith, P., Stehfest, E. & Lawrence, D. 2019. Contribution of the land sector to a 1.5 °C world. Nature Climate Change, 9: 817-828.

(10) As recommended by both the IPCC report on Climate Change and Land and the IPBES report on Biodiversity. IPCC Climate Change and Land, Summary for Policymakers. IPBES 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

(11) Willett, W., Rockström, J., Loken, B., Springmann, M., Lang, T., Vermeulen, S., Garnett, T., Tilman, D., DeClerck, F., Wood, A., Jonell, M., Clark, M., Gordon, L. J., Fanzo, J., Hawkes, C., Zurayk, R., Rivera, J. A., De Vries, W., Majele Sibanda, L., Afshin, A., Chaudhary, A., Herrero, M., Agustina, R., Branca, F., Lartey, A., Fan, S., Crona, B., Fox, E., Bignet, V., Troell, M., Lindahl, T., Singh, S., Cornell, S. E., Srinath Reddy, K., Narain, S., Nishtar, S. & Murray, C. J. L. 2019. Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT−Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. The Lancet, 393: 447-492.

(12) https://www.c40.org/press_releases/good-food-cities

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Signatories

Pete Smith, Professor of Soils & Global Change, University of Aberdeen, UK. FRS, FRSE, FNA, FRSB

Eduardo Aguilera, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Roberta Alessandrini, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom

Ezequiel Arrieta, National Council for Scientific and Technological Research, Argentina

Elizabeth Baldwin, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Andrew Balmford, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Juan José Barriuso, Zaragoza University, Spain

Anneke Batenburg, Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry Mainz, Germany

Heinz Bauer, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Liza Bauer, Justus-Liebig Universitaet Giessen, International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Germany

Sonja Bauernschuster, University of Natural Resources and Life Science, Austria

David Beaune, University of Burgundy, France

Annette Becker, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Johannes Maria Becker, Center for peace and Conflict studies University of Marburg, FRG, Germany

Laurent Begue Shankland, University Grenoble Alpes / CNRS, France

Phillip Bengel, Philipps University Marburg, Germany

Iris Bergmann, The University of Sydney, Australia

Alberto Bernués, CITA-Aragon, Spain

Malgorzata Bienkowska-Wasiluk, University of Warsaw, Poland

Gilles Billen, CNRS/Sorbonne-Université, France

Maria Blanco, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Benjamin Bodirsky, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

Alberte Bondeau, CNRS, France

Ian Boyd, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom

Anika Braun, TU Berlin, Germany

Jessica Bravo, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Anna-Katharina Brenner, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

Lutz Breuer, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Sarah Bridle, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Roland Cash, Asclepiades, France

Eugen H. Christoph, EFSA – European Food Safety Authority, Italy

David Combosch, University of Guam, United States

Chelsie Counsell, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, United States

Danièle Court Marques, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Italy

Wolfgang Cramer, CNRS, France

Wolfgang Cramer, CNRS, France

Felix Creutzig, MCC Berlin, Germany

Beata Czyż, University of Wrocław, Poland

Eldad Davidov, University of Cologne and University of Zurich, Germany

Ben De Groeve, Ghent University, Belgium

Miguel Delibes, National Council for Research (CSIC), Spain, Spain

Vivek Devulapalli, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Germany

Mari Cruz Díaz-Barradas, University of Seville, Spain

Rodolfo Dirzo, Stanford University, United States

Claudine Egger, University of Natural resources and life sciences, Austria

Nadine Engbersen, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Karlheinz Erb, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Inst. for Social Ecology, Austria

Gidon Eshel, Bard College, United States

Romain Espinosa, CNRS and University of Rennes, France

Marina Fischer-Kowalski, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria

Séverine Fourdrilis, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium

Juergen K. Friedel, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria

Franziska Friedrich, Technische Universität München, Germany

Tara Garnett, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Birgit Gemeinholzer, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Sebastian Geschonke, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Jonas Gienger, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Germany

Nicholas Golledge, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Carlos A González, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Spain

Mario González Azcárate, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Rosemary Green, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

Jillian Gregg, Oregon State University, United States

Jan Grosse-Oetringhaus, CERN, Switzerland

Marcin Grynberg, IBB PAS, Poland

Marta Guijosa, University of Salamanca, Spain

Gloria Guzmán Casado, Pablo Olavide University, Spain

Willi Haas, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

Lucyna Hałupka, University of Wrocław, Poland

Helen Harwatt, Harvard Law School, United States

Christian Hauenstein, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

Matthew Hayek, New York University, United States

Georg Heiss, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Whitney Hoot, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, United States

Tobias Houska, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Roman Hüppi, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Sven Ismer, Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany

Ivan Janssens, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Marcin Kadej, University of Wrocław, Poland

Gerald Kalt, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Inst. for Social Ecology, Austria

Dorota Kidawa, University of Gdansk, Poland

Jürgen Kluge, University of Marburg, Germany

Jürgen Kluge, University Marburg, Germany

Björn Kluge, Technische Universität Berlin; Institute of Ecology, Chair of Ecohydrology, Germany

Andrew Knight, University of Winchester Centre for Animal Welfare, United Kingdom

Eliza Kondzior, Mammal Research Institute Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Paulina Kramarz, Jagiellonian University, Poland

Istemi Kuzu, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany

Kate Lajtha, Oregon State University, United States

Christian Lauk, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria

Beverly Law, Oregon State University, United States

Ivan Lopez, University of Zaragoza, Spain

Hermann Lotze-Campen, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany

Jennie Macdiarmid, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Angelo Maggiore, European Food Safety Authority, Italy

Mansi Maheta, Charles University, Institute of Biotechnology, CAS, Czech Republic

Joaquim Maia, European Food Safety Authority, Italy

Joanna Malita-Król, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Hanna Mamzer, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

Raphael Manlay, AgroParisTech, France

Juan F. Masello, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Juan Masello, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Linus Mattauch, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Andreas Mayer, Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria

Andreas Mayer, Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

Evelyn Medawar, Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany

Loriane Mendez, Mediterranean Science Commission (CIESM), Monaco

Tanja Michalik, German Aerospace Center, Germany, Germany

Angela Mickley, Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Joachim Mietusch, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Joachim Mietusch, JLU Gießen, Germany

Anna Birgitte Milford, NIBIO, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Norway

Ron Milo, Weizmann Inst., Israel

Kerstin Mohr, University of Potsdam, Polis180 e.V., Germany

Manuel Molano, IDIBAPS, Spain

Anna Teresa Moll, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Gerald Moser, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Gerald Moser, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Plant Ecology, Germany

Christoph Müller, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

Anja Müller, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Anna Muszewska, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Elena Nalon, Eurogroup for Animals, Belgium

Roni Neff, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States

Pao-Yu Oei, TU Berlin, Germany

Alicja Okrasińska, University of Warsaw, Poland

Michał Pałasz, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

Mercedes Pardo Buendía, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain

Marcello Passaro, Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut der Technischen Universität München, Germany

Zuzanna Pestka, University of Gdansk, Poland, Poland

Benjamin Phalan, Parque das Aves, Brazil

Joanna Pijanowska, University of Warsaw, Poland

Kasia Piwosz, Centre ALGATECH, Insitute of Microbiology CAS, Czech Republic

Barbara Plank, Institute of Social Ecology Vienna, Austria

Mateusz Płóciennik, Mateusz Płóciennik, Poland

Beata Anna Polak, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

Prajal Pradhan, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany

Susanne Maria Prof. Dr. Weber, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany

Zofia Prokop, Zofia Prokop, Poland

Petra Quillfeldt, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Alek Rachwald, Forest Ecology Department, Forest Research Institute, Poland

Francesca Riolo, European Food Safety Authority, Italy

William Ripple, Oregon State University, United States

Marta G. Rivera-Ferre, Chair Agroecology and Food Systems. University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia, Spain

Susanne Rodemeier, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany

Nicolas Roux, University of natural resources and life sciences, Vienna, BOKU, Austria

Miguel Ángel Royo Bordonada, National School of Public Health, Spain

José Luis Rubio, CIDE-CSIC Valencia, Spain, Spain

Andrea Rumler, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin, Germany

Kristin Saksa, Moss Landing Marine Labs (CSUMB), United States

Alberto Sanz-Cobena, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Michel Sauvain, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France

Martina Schäfer, Center for Technology and Society, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

Sarah Schiessl-Weidenweber, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Jan Schlautmann, Philipps University Marburg, Germany

Martin Schliephacke, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Wolfgang Schmidt, University of Applied Science Munich, Germany

Michael Schrödl, ZSM and LMU, Germany

Alon Shepon, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Israel

Agnieszka Skorupa, University of Silesia, Poland

Piotr Skubala, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland

Barbara Smetschka, Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria, Austria

Andreas Sönnichsen, Medical University of Vienna, Germany

Marco Springmann, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Ivo Steimanis, University Marburg, Germany

Marc Strickert, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany

Scott Stripling, NOAA – National Hurricane Center, United States

Mark Sutton, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, United Kingdom

Hajnalka Szentgyörgyi, Jagiellonian University, Poland

Nicole Tamka, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Soeren Thomsen, LOCEAN, IPSL, Sorbonne Université, France

Yvonne Tiede, Philipps-University Marburg, Germany

Cristina Tirado, UCLA, United States

Marta Tischer, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany

Nicolas Treich, Toulouse School of Economics and INRA, France

Monika Trimoska, University of Picardie, France

Joanna Tusznio, Jagiellonian University, Poland

Christina Vaccaro, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Fernando Valladares, National Council for Research (CSIC), Spain, Spain

Marijn Van de Broek, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Sanne Van Den Berge, Ghent University, Belgium

Sandra Vardeh, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Iris Vermeir, Ghent University, Belgium

Sara Vicca, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Jesus Vioque, University Miguel Hernandez, Spain

Doris Virág, Institute for Social Ecology, Austria

Ann-Kathrin Vlacil, Philipps Universität Marburg, Germany

Thomas Vogt, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

Anina Vogt, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Abdul Wakeel, Pakistan Agricultural Scientists Forum, Pakistan

Marie-Theres Wandl, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Social Ecology, Austria

Micha Weil, University of Greifswald, Germany

Dobrosława Wezowicz-Ziolkowska, University of Silesia, Poland

Stephen Whybrow, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Marco Wietzoreck, Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry, Germany

Verena Winiwarter, University of Natural Reseources and Life Sciences, Austria

Hector Zamora-Carreras, Instituto de Quimica Fisica Rocasolano (CSIC), Spain

Carola Zenke-Philippi, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Daniel Zink, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Kai Zosseder, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Roman Żurek, Institute of Nature Conservation Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

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