Party for the Animals: “Boycott defo­re­station, mitigate climate change” - while we still can

12 מאי 2021

According to the international study that was published in Nature last Wednesday, there is still time to prevent a disastrous sea level rise. But in order to achieve this, governments have to work harder than ever before on meeting the Paris climate goals of 2015. The Dutch Party for the Animals and her sister parties around the world have been pleading for a courageous approach to the climate crisis for years. For switching to a sustainable doughnut economy, clean energy, and a healthy, ethical and climate-friendly diet. And - most recently - for boycotting products that cause deforestation.

Concern is growing among scientist that after five years of inaction following the Paris Climate Agreement, it might be too late to save the climate. According to the latest UN-projections, the temperature on Earth will rise by three degrees before 2050, with disastrous consequences. But according to research by over eighty climate scientists overseen by the British King’s College, the situation is “not yet hopeless”. The sea level rise caused by melting glaciers and polar caps can still be cut in half. That is, if countries do everything in their power to adhere to the Paris accord at the least. If they fail to do that, the world is heading towards a downright catastrophe, states a second study that appeared in last Wednesday’s Nature, by the University of Massachusetts.

This is the context in which the recent initiative by the Dutch Party for the Animals should be seen. With written questions, MP Christine Teunissen called on the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation to boycott products that cause deforestation, such as palm oil and soy grown for fodder.

Forests are the most important resource in the battle against climate change, as they remove CO2 from the atmosphere and retain fresh water. But a report by Global Forest Watch recently showed that deforestation has grown by 12.2 million acres in 2020. Of this, one third, or 4.2 million acres, used to be tropical rainforest. As the biggest European importer of palm oil and soy, primarily used for fodder for the livestock industry, the Netherlands is an important driving force behind the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. In other countries as well, industrial livestock farming imposes a heavy burden on agricultural land throughout the world, causing the loss of forests and biodiversity.

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University of Oxford scientist Joseph Poore about the impact of our current food system and the need to reform it.

As such, the global meat and dairy industry is one of the most important causes of the climate crisis, which threatens people with floods, bushfires and famine worldwide. The Dutch Party for the Animals therefore calls on the government to take responsibility for stopping the worldwide deforestation caused by our trade policies and our current food system. “A boycott of products causing deforestation is an important first step in stopping the alarming pace at which we are losing our primeval forests”.

It is up to government leaders around the world to answer this call, and to finally decide on effective interventions at the new UN climate summit in Glasgow this autumn. It is the only way to limit the damage. Parties for animal rights, nature and the environment from across the world will keep doing everything in their power to convince others of the urgency and the possibilities - that much is clear. Not just in their own countries, but also by joining forces for common, international initiatives. Such as the petition in a dozen languages in which they call on government leaders for a food revolution - in the best interest of human public health, animal welfare, biodiversity, and the climate.

“We ask everyone to sign the petition and to vote for humans, animals, future generations, and our planet. We can make a difference - not just politically and in the voting booths, but with our eating habits and our spending habits as well!”