Immediate action is required to avert a climate disaster, scientists of the climate panel IPCC have stated in an alarming report released last week. There are plenty of effective, affordable measures to halt global warming to a standstill, but they have to be taken now. Energy conservation, more sustainable energy, stopping deforestation, and last but not least, reducing our consumption of meat and dairy: according to scientists, these are the actions that are necessary now to prevent global warming from hitting a disastrous 3.2 degrees by the end of the century. The Party for the Animals and its sister parties have been fighting for the measures named in the IPCC report around the world for years already. In a petition to world leaders, already signed by almost 80,000 people, the parties plead for a quick transition to a healthy, climate friendly and animal friendly food system.
“We are at a tipping point. Decisions we make now can secure a liveable future”, according to the Intergovernmental Climate Panel IPCC at the presentation of the report. About 250 scientists from around the world worked on the report.
In an earlier report this year, IPCC scientists showed that billions of humans, often people in a vulnerable position, already feel the consequences of the climate crisis. Global warming has already led to the disappearance of ecosystems, the extinction of species, and to parts of our planet becoming uninhabitable.
Time for action - now!
“Our house is on fire”, Greta Thunberg said. But to the frustration and despair of more and more people, the political will for real action has proven to be wholly inadequate. In fact, more money is being invested in fossil fuels than in climate measures still. And the industrial livestock industry, one of the biggest drivers of climate change and deforestation, is still being subsidized by billions of euros.
It is no wonder that young people called upon the UN to invoke a state of emergency for the climate, that hundreds of thousands of civilians demonstrated during the failed climate summit in Glasgow, and that now even scientists are hitting the streets and getting arrested. As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, said: “Climate activists are sometimes painted as dangerous radicals, but the true dangerous radicals are the countries that continue to increase the production of fossil fuels”.
Activists in politics
“We need more activist politicians, who truly stand for sustainability”, says MP Christine Teunissen of the Dutch Party for the Animals. Together with her Party for the Animals MEP colleague Anja Hazekamp and her colleagues of the British Animal Welfare Party, she demonstrated in Glasgow during the Global Day of Action last November. Teunissen also spoke during the COP26 Climate Summit at the mini-conference ‘Food Revolution to tackle the Climate Crisis’, about what politicians can do to tackle the climate crisis.
Their message: to tackle the climate, biodiversity and health crises, we need to stop investing in industrial livestock farming. “The industrial livestock industry emits more greenhouse gasses than all cars, ships, trucks, trains and planes together. There is no way to guarantee zero-emission without disrupting the industrial livestock industry”, Hazekamp explains.
Stop deforestation, energy waste, and industrial livestock farming
Within the political arena as well, the Party for the Animals has been fighting for years for climate action. Last year, they submitted a Climate Law 1.5 to force the government to actually treat the climate crisis as a crisis. That same year, the European Parliament, at the initiative of the Party for the Animals, recognised the need to disrupt industrial livestock farming to effectively tackle the climate and biodiversity crises. A breakthrough.
And now that the impending grain shortage, a direct consequence of the war in Ukraine, is used as an opportunity to delay plans to make agriculture more sustainable, the Party for the Animals keeps a watchful eye. Especially now, we should speed up the transition to green agriculture. And especially now, feeding people rather than wasting food on keeping industrial livestock farming on its feet should be the priority, write party leader Esther Ouwehand and MEP Anja Hazekamp.