The 2019 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25 for short) took place from December 2-13, 2019 in Madrid, Spain, but under the Presidency of the Government of Chile.

We participated in collaborative events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness of and laying the groundwork for concrete action on animal agriculture and climate change. We participated with a number of groups including Food and Climate Alliance, 50by40, Global Forest Coalition, ProVeg, The Buddhist Tzu Chi, and more.

Some of the events and exhibits that we participated in included:

Transformative Climate Resilient Pathways for Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems and Diets
Date: Monday 2nd, December
Location: Room 5
This event included representatives from civil society, UN, countries, interfaith, and academia discussed transformative pathways to promote sustainable and healthy food systems and diets while ensuring the conservation of forests, ecosystems, cultural heritage, and spiritual values.

Speakers included:
Estebancio Castro Diaz, International Alliance on Indigenous Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests; COICA (Panama)
Ruth Nyambura, Global Forest Coalition (Kenya)
Raphael Podselver, ProVeg (Germany)
Dr. Ming Nan-Lin: Tzu Chi Dalin Hospital (Taiwan)
Zitouni Oudd Dada, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/FAO (Tunisia)

It was moderated by Dr. Maria Cristina Tirado von der Pahlen, SHE (Sustainability/Health/Education)
Foundation; UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (Spain/U.S.).

Exhibit with the Global Forest Coalition
Date: Monday 9th, December and Tuesday 10th, December
Location: Booth 3
The exhibit focused on research documenting how animal agriculture is a significant driver of global GHGs, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution; and concrete ways that food and ag can be changed to ensure climate sanity and protection/rights of human and non-human communities.

We prepared a set of policy recommendations for the COP called “Climate Policy Must Support Sustainable, Equitable, and Climate-Compatible Food and Agriculture.” Among the report’s specific recommendations are to cut the shocking one-third of food that’s wasted and to shift diets away from meat and dairy products and toward plant-based foods.

We also worked with the Center for Biological Diversity and 13 other organizations to prepare a policy brief calling on organizers and attendees of COP25 to take immediate action to reduce planet-warming emissions from food and agriculture. It’s called An Urgent Call to Action to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Food and Agriculture” and outlines five key actions: providing technical assistance for countries to include food and agriculture in emissions reduction targets; promoting sustainable diets and food production in climate and development policies; internalizing the costs of livestock production and ending tax subsidies for feed crops; aligning efforts across government departments to address meat and dairy production as well as consumption; and shifting procurement to prioritize purchasing low-impact foods.

As the conference came to the end, Executive Director, Mia MacDonald, wrote an op-ed called “Even as climate changes worsens, we’re doubling down on animal production. Big mistake.” in the NY Daily News illuminating the grave consequences of the recent slaughter-speed rollback in the U.S.