Vienna, 29 November 2023 – This year's Conference of the Parties (COP28) starts this Thursday hosted by the petrostate of the UAE. This controversial presidency will be overseeing the culmination of the first ever global assessment of all countries’ climate plans with a view to put us back on track to meet our climate goals. The Global Stocktake, will confirm that the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) implemented by the countries are failing to meet the maximum target of 1.5°C global warming of the Paris Agreement. With food systems accounting for over a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS considers this a crucial opportunity for governments to commit to the end of factory farming as part of their NDCs and a drastic reduction in global meat and dairy production.
In addition to a central point of discussion, that of fossil fuels and the phase-out from coal and natural gas, the talks will for the first time also focus on global food systems with world leaders signing up to a declaration on resilient food systems, sustainable agriculture and climate action.
"With emissions from animal agriculture accounting for at least 16.5% of climate-damaging emissions we need to face the facts: factory farming plays a key role in fueling the climate crisis. Whilst we all know the negative impacts of fossil fuels, we need to start talking about how the suffering of billions of animals in our current food system is also to blame.”
Josef Pfabigan, CEO of FOUR PAWS
Animal welfare and the climate crisis
Currently, animals are bred to fit the needs of a broken system that prioritises profit over climate concerns and subjects sentient beings to chronic stress, fear and pain. Another model based on positive animal welfare interventions is urgently needed. Most importantly, fewer animals overall means fewer emissions and more space for the remaining animals to perform their natural behaviours. Permanent access to maintained extensive pastures and limiting herd sizes are some of the measures that can directly improve the lives of 80 billion farm animals every year and mitigate and adapt to climate change.
“Unfortunately, most countries are expanding their intensive livestock farming operations with an increasing belief in technical solutions rather than real sustainable transformation of how we farm. We call on countries to use this stocktaking moment to ensure their NDCs from 2024 onwards reduce the number of animals we farm and give greater importance to animal welfare in relation to our environment,” concludes Pfabigan.
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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org