By N. Peter Kramer
In a press release Greenpeace mentions that Greenhouse gas emissions from European farming have been rising steadily since 2012. Their source is a new European Commission report about the climate impact of the EU’s common agricultural policy.
The report, which was also the subject of a freedom-of-information request, was released by the European Commission last Monday, sneakily buried amid the dense coverage of the results and comments of the European Parliament elections.
Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “The study shows once and for all that the EU is failing to tackle agriculture’s contribution to climate breakdown. In particular, the EU has been unable to address the detrimental role that the overproduction of meat and dairy plays. Instead of locking the EU further into factory farming, and on track for climate disaster, the EU’s farming policy must enable a transition to producing and consuming less and better meat and dairy.”
Alone, animal farming in Europe contributes 12-17% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Farm animals emit greenhouse gases themselves and are often fed commodities like soy, which are linked to deforestation and habitat destruction, and have a major climate footprint.
Greenpeace is calling for a 50% reduction in global meat and dairy production by 2050, to protect the climate, environment and public health. This call is echoed by scientists in a recent report* on healthy diets from a sustainable food system.
*EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems