UAE – The World Animal Protection (WAP) has exposed the grim nexus between factory farming, climate change, and the looming global catastrophe.

Their latest research, outlined in the report titled “How Factory Farming Emissions are Worsening Climate Disasters in the Global South,” unveils a chilling truth: factory farming is not just a threat to the welfare of billions of animals but is also a major contributor to the escalating climate crisis.

The report underscores that factory farming churns out 11% of global greenhouse gases, propelling the world further into the throes of climate change.

The devastating impact extends beyond environmental concerns, infiltrating the livelihoods of 1.7 billion people reliant on small-holder farming.

Unveiling the economic toll, the report exposes that recent climate disasters in Africa, Asia, and South America have resulted in US$8.65 billion worth of damages caused by factory farms in the Global North.

Disturbingly, the economic costs associated with climate-driven disasters are projected to skyrocket to over US$1 trillion annually by 2050, with factory farms accounting for more than US$100 billion of this colossal sum.

The economic toll is just the tip of the iceberg, as the resource-intensive factory farming industry releases a substantial portion of greenhouse gases, exacerbating heat waves, wildfires, floods, and droughts worldwide.

The far-reaching consequences of factory farming are not limited to emissions; vast swathes of natural habitats are obliterated to cultivate crops for animal feed, resulting in the loss of biodiversity and the release of additional carbon.

The journey from factory farm to dinner plate further exacerbates the crisis, pumping a staggering six trillion tons of emissions into the atmosphere.

Beyond the environmental devastation, the report sheds light on the unimaginable cruelty endured by billions of animals trapped in factory farms. The rampant use of antibiotics fosters antimicrobial resistance, while animals are painfully mutilated and bred for profit, causing debilitating injuries in the process.

The global meat industry’s heavyweights, including Brazil-based JBS, are raking in record profits while contributing to deforestation and environmental degradation, WAP says.

As factory farming gears up for a 30% surge in Africa to meet rising meat demand, the report warns of a potential US$53 billion annual expenditure by 2030 for African countries to adapt to the climate crisis.

World Animal Protection is making an urgent call at COP28, urging governments to impose a 10-year moratorium on new factory farms and halt the industry’s unchecked expansion.

Additionally, the charity advocates for financial resources to be directed towards smallholder farmers in the developing world, steering away from destructive industrial practices.

Tennyson Williams, Director for Africa at World Animal Protection, emphasized the interconnectedness of animal cruelty and climate change, declaring that tackling one is futile without addressing the other.

COP28 2023 spotlights the food industry

The 28th edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) is set to make history by broadening its focus to address the environmental impact of food systems, with a spotlight on animal agriculture.

Scheduled from November 30 to December 12 at Expo City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, COP28 will tackle the pressing issue of food-related emissions, a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas levels.

In a departure from the traditional emphasis on fossil fuels, this year’s conference marks a pivotal moment as the United Nations acknowledges the substantial environmental footprint of the food industry.

A 2021 study revealed that the food system is responsible for over a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, prompting a shift in focus from sectors like transport, energy, and industrial manufacturing to the critical role of food production.

As the world grapples with the urgent need to combat climate change, COP28 aims to elevate the discourse on sustainable and climate-friendly practices within the food sector.

This strategic decision recognizes the interconnectedness of environmental challenges and underscores the importance of addressing emissions from animal agriculture to achieve meaningful progress in the fight against climate change.

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