Combat Climate Change by Regulating Animal Agriculture

Target:Secretariat contact: June Budhooram, Secretariat of COP 21 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 

Goal: Discuss the environmental impact of animal agriculture at an important climate conference.

Animal agriculture is one of the main contributors to global warming, yet regulating it is not on the agenda at the United Nations Climate Conference. The United Nations Climate Conference will be held by international policy-makers to find solutions to curb global warming and limit the rise of global temperatures to 2 more degrees Celsius. As of yet, the meat and dairy industries’ colossal negative impact on the planet is not on these Climate Talks’ agenda.

As far back as 2006, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a study showing that animal agriculture was responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, or more than the entire transportation sector. In 2009, the Worldwatch Institute took more factors into consideration, such as the transport of animal produce and feed, and put the figure at over 50 percent. Indeed, the meat and dairy industries are the largest emitters of methane and nitrous oxide, amongst other harmful pollutants.

Additionally, animal agriculture is responsible for major environmental crises such as unbridled deforestation in the Amazon and current water shortages in California. By feeding most of the world’s grain and soy to livestock instead of people, animal agriculture also directly contributes to famine and global economic inequalities.

Unfortunately, Big Ag is one of the best protected industries, with powerful meat and dairy lobbies using their wealth and power to relentlessly advertise their products to consumers and influence politicians. Despite their huge turnover, these large corporations are the main recipients of government farm subsidies. In the United States, the USDA is heavily involved in setting dietary guidelines, a clear conflict of interest.

Curbing global demand for meat and dairy products is essential in order to keep global temperatures from rising by over 2 degrees Celsius. Sign this petition to urge UN lawmakers to acknowledge animal agriculture’s huge role in global warming and devise climate policies accordingly.


Dear Secretariat Budhooram,

Animal agriculture is largely responsible for global warming and our current climate crises. In 2006, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization found that animal agriculture was responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. More recently, the Worldwatch Institute put this figure at 53 percent. In spite of this, imposing limits on, regulating, or even discussing this issue is not on the agenda for COP 21.

When devising a plan to curb the increase of global temperatures, please regulate the meat industry and shift global demand for meat and dairy towards a more sustainable plant-based diet. I urge you to take animal agriculture’s massive environmental impact into consideration when crafting a global agreement to curb climate change. Regulating this destructive industry is essential for our planet’s future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Franzl34

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