All eyes are now on world leaders to take clear and radical action to transform our global food system following discussions on solutions at the first ever UN Food Systems Summit (23rd September).
The online one-day ‘people’s Summit’, saw organisations, individuals, companies and governments from around the world gather to discuss potential solutions to fix our broken global food system. The key messages to emerge from the event were that the current war on nature must end and that attention is now firmly on COP26, in Glasgow, where world leaders will gather next month to discuss tackling the climate emergency.
All eyes now on COP26
Our Global Chief Executive, Philip Lymbery, who is also a UN Food Systems Champion and took part in the Summit, said: “For me, what the summit achieved was a change of the narrative; moving away from business as usual with tweaks, to one that speaks to the need for transformational approaches to food system reform.
“It was heartening to hear some governments grasping the nettle and talking about moving away from industrial farming – Sri Lanka and the EU are two examples; but there were too few.
“All eyes are now on our world leaders who will gather in Glasgow for COP26. We must have clear, radical action to transform our global food system in order to avert a climate catastrophe, before it’s too late. The world will be watching.”
Industrial agriculture affecting the planet
Industrial agriculture is a major driver of wildlife declines, deforestation, and soil degradation, and is now recognised as a serious pandemic risk too: intensive farm systems create the perfect breeding ground for new and dangerous strains of disease.
Without a radical transformation of our global food system, we simply won’t be able to solve the climate, health and wildlife emergencies.
Philip accepted the invitation of Agnes Kalibata, UN Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit to represent animal welfare organisations in Europe and beyond as a Food Systems Champion in March this year. We have played an active role in the Summit’s Action Tracks and working groups and led the development of the Sustainable Livestock Solutions Cluster Paper C: Aligning Production and Consumption, which has four main calls to action:
- Resizing the livestock industry and reducing meat and dairy consumption
- Shifting to nature-friendly, regenerative agriculture
- Supporting a just transition
- Adopting good standards of animal welfare.