Biden is pushing to cut U.S. animal production by 50 percent by 2040 to meet climate goals
The international food awareness organization ProVeg International has one petition I urge President Joe Biden and the President’s Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, to convert the country to a plant-centered food system amid the global climate crisis. The petition comes ahead of the Biden climate summit on April 22nd, when 40 world leaders were invited to discuss the urgency of stronger climate action. Last year the president declared that “climate change is humanity’s main problem,” and with the United States officially re-anchored in the Paris Agreement (an international treaty on climate change), ProVeg International says Biden’s leadership is now more than is necessary ever.
“Discussing environmental crises without centering food production means deliberately avoiding the facts,” said Michael Webermann, US executive director of ProVeg International. “What we eat affects not only climate change, but the planet’s biggest problems, including pandemic risks, deforestation, antibiotic resistance and food insecurity. For example, the FAO tells us that we could feed 9 billion people (by 2050) if 40 percent of all plants produced for animal feed were used directly for human consumption. One has to wonder when the policy will reflect the urgency of this situation. “
Reducing animal consumption for the climate
According to the International Panel on Climate Change’s 2019 Special Report on Climate Change and Land, reducing the consumption of animal products is key to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Switching to a plant-based diet has also been identified as one of the most effective changes that can be made to curb climate change, tackle food waste, and support regenerative farming communities. Despite this knowledge, the new $ 2 trillion infrastructure proposal does not include support for animal-free food technologies or the transition of farmers from animal to plant-based farming.
As part of the petition, ProVeg International calls on the Biden government to include goals for plant-based food systems in all climate and agricultural policy proposals for domestic infrastructure in order to set a global example, and these goals in all discussions in Paris and at COP26 and ultimately aims to reduce animal production by 50 percent by 2040.
Photo credit: Adam Schultz