Recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) leave no room for doubt about the climate crisis. The current trajectory of emissions from the United States and other industrialized countries cannot be allowed to continue. Unless we make immediate, comprehensive changes to nearly all systems, including those pertaining to food, we’ll not meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement. We have to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
Although the window is closing on achieving 1.5°C, it still remains open. It’s encouraging, for instance, to see the IPCC addressing more directly the need for a global reduction in the consumption of animal products. We know that methane (CH4) is a fast-acting greenhouse gas, and a major source of the gas is animal agriculture, so reducing CH4 from factory farms could buy us time to lower other GHG emissions. Furthermore, transitioning industries from animal agriculture would not only reduce CH4, but lessen animal suffering and the threat of future pandemics from factory farms. (For a deeper dive into what the IPCC report says about food systems, animal agriculture, and plant-based diets, you can read an analysis done by the partner network we’re a member of, 50by40, here.)
In order to meet the climate goals, reaching net zero emissions, along with removing carbon from the atmosphere, will be necessary. All options for emissions reduction–including animal agriculture–must be on the table. (more…)Learn More
Since our last update Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald recently published two important works.
The most recent is a book chapter called, “Maximum Plunder: The Global Context and Multiple Threats of Animal Agriculture,” featured in the recently published second edition of Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth. The chapter on climate change is new to the second edition and provides an overview of the global climate crisis from an ecofeminist perspective. The book draws on fields as diverse as animal studies, environmental studies, feminist/gender studies, and practical ethics.
Mia MacDonald also published an essay in the Health and Human Rights Journal, published by Harvard University. This essay argues that the global response to COVID-19 should lead to new thinking and action and a new relationship with the nonhuman world that is centered on mutuality and respect, not commodification and exploitation.January 20, 2022
Brighter Green participated in COP26 this year, and Executive Director Mia MacDonald traveled to Glasgow in early November to attend the events. We were part of a number of coalitions and pushed world leaders to acknowledge and address the significant impact of animal agriculture and food systems on climate change, and the many ways in which rising global temperatures are affecting agriculture in urgent and devastating ways. Brighter Green collaborated with Feedback, ProVeg International, and other partners to host an official COP26 side event, No More Omissions: Addressing the Ambition and Scale of Change Required in Global Food Systems, on November 9th. You can watch the full event (about 90 minutes long) on YouTube here.
Read more below, and find more details, documents, and links to our work at COP26 here.
In the side event, which was moderated by Mia MacDonald, we discussed the ways policy experts should address food systems issues, specifically the impact of livestock production on the climate, and how we can best make recommendations for decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and meeting the goals set by the Paris Agreement. The science surrounding climate change is clear. We need to take urgent action to ensure the planet is inhabitable for future generations. But policymakers are not heeding the recommendations the science has given. The panelists discussed the bold policies and programs already in place to create alternatives to our current unjust and unsustainable system of meat production and consumption, and how they should be scaled to address the problem at a global level.
Brighter Green is a supporter of Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate’s work and vision, and we also worked on her book, a memoir and manifesto, which has just been published, “A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis. We were pleased to see Vanessa accorded a number of platforms at this year’s COP26 and appreciate her dedicated activism on climate justice with other Fridays For Future leaders, in both the conference meeting rooms and the streets of Glasgow. She spoke several times at conference plenaries (one example), was featured on the cover of TIME, was quoted in The New York Times, and was on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, among other notable achievements. We urge everyone to pick up a copy of her book, which amplifies her message that people from the global South are often not at the table when solutions to climate change are being discussed. The book tackles the issue head-on and features Vanessa’s personal story and that of many other young climate activists across Africa and on other continents.November 22, 2021
Read our latest newsletter here to learn more about what Brighter Green has been up to.
Having participated in the UN Food Systems Summit, we moved our focus to COP26, which is in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12. We are participating in an official COP26 side event called, No More Omissions: Addressing the Ambition and Scale of Change Required in Global Food Systems and we hope you will join us on November 9. If you can’t make the event, feel free to watch the events live streaming on our website here.
Brighter Green continues to work with global partners to advance policies that prioritize the climate, biodiversity, and wild and domesticated animals. Now more than ever, we must address our food system, and specifically unsustainable forms of livestock production, in order to reach the Paris Climate Agreement target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Please read on for updates. As always, we appreciate your interest in Brighter Green and welcome feedback, questions, and new ways of thinking and doing. Please support our work by making a donation today.November 3, 2021
Watch the panel! Brighter Green and partners hosted a virtual event that explored making changes in our society, and indeed our world, to help people, animals, and the planet be healthy and thrive. Learn More
This event was live streamed on November 9, 2021 at COP26 in Glasgow Scotland.
Brighter Green participated in an official COP26 side event called, No More Omissions: Addressing the Ambition and Scale of Change Required in Global Food Systems.
You can watch the event in the embedded player below, or on YouTube.November 3, 2021
Food and agricultural systems have an enormous impact on human lives, especially in vulnerable communities, the lives of other animals, and the ecosystems and climate on which all species depend.