COP26 | Veganuary's Open Letter

Houston,
We Have
A Solution

Tackling the climate crisis isn’t rocket science!

Politicians must prioritise diet change to protect our planet

As global leaders gather at COP26 to discuss the current climate emergency, Veganuary has united with scientists and environmentalists to send this urgent message:

“Tackling the climate crisis isn’t rocket science! We already have a solution that can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions – moving to a plant-based diet. What we need now is for politicians and policymakers to prioritise diet change to protect our planet.

The forthcoming third part of a landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, leaked in August, states: ‘A shift to diets with a higher share of plant-based protein in regions with excess consumption of calories and animal-source food can lead to substantial reductions in emissions, while also providing health benefits … Plant-based diets can reduce emissions by up to 50% compared to the average emission intensive western diet.’ (1)

This echoes a 2018 report published in the journal Science which showed that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. The authors concluded that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.’ (2) 

Yet, globally, government initiatives to drive down meat and dairy consumption are virtually non-existent. This – like our diets – must change today as only ‘rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gases this decade can prevent climate breakdown’ according to the IPCC. (3) 

Our planet is at a tipping point. We must act now to prevent a rise in temperature that will drastically alter life on earth. Changing our diets is one small step for each of us, but together, it’s a giant leap for the future of humankind.”

Signatories

  • Chris Packham


    Veganuary Ambassador

  • Dale Vince

    Founder of Ecotricity and Climate Champion for Sport with UNFCCC
    Veganuary Ambassador

  • Mayim Bialik

    Neuroscientist & actor
    Veganuary Ambassador


  • Olympia LePoint

    US Rocket scientist

  • Brian Greene

    Theoretical physicist

  • Robert Fisher

    Astrophysicist

  • Vijay Shah

    Aeronautical engineer

  • Anna Frebel

    Astronomer and Associate Professor of Physics at MIT

  • Peter Smith

    Professor of Soils & Global Change and Science Director of Scotland's ClimateXChange

  • George Monbiot

    Author, journalist & environmental activist

  • Maurizio Pierini

    Particle physicist

  • Emily Hunt

    Astronomer at University of Heidelberg, Germany

  • Suzy Jones

    Astrophysicist

  • Greenpeace

    United Kingdom