Animal Agriculture and Climate Change: Global Policies, Finance and Civil Society
Instructor: Mia MacDonald
The FAO has calculated that the global livestock sector is responsible for 9% of the world’s CO2 emissions; 37% of global methane emissions (methane ~ 21 times the global warming potential of CO2); and 65% of global emissions of nitrous oxide (a GHG with 296 times the global warming potential of CO2). Despite these facts, the UNFCCC, gives little to no attention to the issue of agriculture—specifically, animal agriculture—in efforts to mitigate GHG emissions and climate change adaptation measures.
More than 60 billion animals are raised for food
each year globally. Methods to produce animal-based foods are rapidly
industrializing, significantly impacting climate change, animal welfare, food security, natural resources, livelihoods, sustainability
Civil society plays an important role in advocating
for adoption of principles and policies by governments through the
UNFCCC Secretariat and at negotiating sessions. In this capstone,
students will work in one of three groups for client organizations
Humane Society International and Brighter Green to:
1) Create educational materials for women, gender
and youth NGOs on the links between climate change and animal
agriculture, designed to engage their support for relevant UNFCCC
policies on animal agriculture
2) Produce a set of guidelines for the financing of humane, sustainable, climate-friendly food systems that do not promote the expansion of factory farms for use by at least two of the following: the World Bank, a regional development bank or the UNFCCC’s Green Climate Fund.