What is COP?
COP stands for "Conference of the Parties," an annual meeting of countries that have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
COP28 stands out as the first conference which places a spotlight on food and agriculture.
The UNFCCC is a global treaty, formed of 198 signatory nations, and was established in 1992 to address climate change and its impacts.
This year, COP28 will convene in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 30th November to 12th December; it stands out as the first conference where food and agriculture are firmly on the agenda.
COP acts as a platform for participating countries to discuss, align, and assess progress made since adopting the 2015 Paris Agreement – a landmark international treaty which set out the goal to limit global temperatures from increasing to more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The outcomes of meetings held during the event often lead to agreements and commitments that shape international efforts to address climate change.
COP28 is a fantastic opportunity for World Animal Protection to connect with like-minded nations, civil society groups and stakeholders, as well as to raise awareness and influence public discourse. We will be presenting our new report How Factory Farming Emissions are Worsening Climate Disasters in the Global South to urge Governments to acknowledge that factory farming is a climate culprit and to support a transition to humane and sustainable food systems instead.
Factory farming needs to stop
Our food system is broken. Factory farming is the silent culprit we are failing to address, despite the clear direct impact that factory farming poses to climate stability. Incredibly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has acknowledged that, even if all fossil fuel emissions were immediately eliminated, food system emissions alone would jeopardise the 1.5ºC target maximum temperature increase set by the Paris Agreement.
It is big industry players like JBS, the world’s largest meat production company, that are driving the growth of factory farming at a phenomenal rate at the expense of our climate, forests, and biodiversity. These companies process and supply meat to leading UK supermarkets, wholesales, and global fast-food brands. Governments using their power to rein in unethical companies like JBS are critical to stopping factory farming’s devastation.
To ensure we limit the impact of climate change to the internationally agreed threshold of 1.5-degrees, governments are urged to prioritise the transformation of food production towards humane and sustainable systems.
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