Approximately 85 percent of the world’s population is experiencing the dangerous effects of climate change, and world leaders including the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have advocated for governmental plant-based solutions to avoid the climate “disaster.” This month, the United Kingdom appointed a vegan official as the head of environmental policy.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak just appointed Meera Vadher as his head of environmental policy, allegedly to improve his “green credentials.” Following the appointment, The Guardian reported that Vadher’s social media claimed that she is a vegan who possesses a “strong desire to smash the jargon and simplify politics and current affairs.” However, the newly appointed environmental leader has changed her bio to remove “vegan.”
Currently, Vadher has not signed the contract officiating her role as the new head of environmental policy. Previously, the politician worked as a special advisor for regional politics and with the Department for Health and Social Care to assist in COVID-19 pandemic response efforts.
Controversy at This Year’s UN Climate Summit
Shortly before this appointment, Sunak announced that he would not attend the annual COP27 climate summit hosted in Egypt. The world leader faced severe backlash from the public, criticizing his decision to not participate in climate talks with other world leaders. Soon after this initial announcement, the prime minister reversed his decision and attended the UN climate conference.
This year’s UN climate conference featured an inaugural food-centered event to discuss food production’s role in the climate crisis. With the help of ProVeg International, The Food4Climate Pavilion helped provide necessary information to guests on how food contributes to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, specifically highlighting the danger of the meat and dairy industries.
Plant-Based Solutions to the Climate Crisis
UN researchers claim that the world must cut methane emissions by 33 percent by 2030 to effectively curb climate change, placing significant responsibility on the beef and dairy sectors. Nearly 40 percent of global methane emissions are linked to cattle production. And several studies have revealed that plant-based meat is a viable option to protect the planet. Plant-based meat is 10 times more sustainable than beef production, according to new research from this August.
This October, Los Angeles became the first major American city to adopt the Plant Based Treaty. The LA City Council unanimously voted to adopt the pledge devoted to improving sustainable and innovative food systems as a solution to climate change. Following LA’s approval, 20 cities have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty. Recent endorsements have come from Gandhinagar, India; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Haywards Heath, United Kingdom; and Didem, Turkey, among others.
Food insecurity is a dangerous byproduct worsened by the climate crisis. Currently, more than 34 million people face food insecurity in the United States. In an attempt to address the problem, agriculture giants are accelerating meat and dairy production to feed those facing food insecurity, but new research reveals that despite short-term benefits, intensified animal agriculture increases the risk of long-term environmental issues and the risk of pandemics.
This study reveals the dangers of reliance on meat and dairy, promoting an increase in safer, more sustainable plant-based solutions. Despite only providing the world with 18 percent of its total calories, meat and dairy industries require 83 percent of the planet’s total farmland.
For more planetary happenings, visit The Beet’s Environmental News
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