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Making a case for climate-friendly farming in Bonn

News Section Icon Published 6/11/2024

Eirini Pitsilidi speaking into microphone at event for Bonn Climate Change Conference

Members of our International Affairs team are attending the Bonn Climate Change Conference in Germany, to champion higher welfare, nature-positive and climate-resilient animal farming as part of the solution to addressing climate change.

Climate talks ahead of COP29 in November

Delegates from around the world are in Bonn from 3 –13 June to discuss technical, financial and scientific matters in an effort to galvanise progress towards the Paris Climate Agreement and prepare for the closely-watched annual climate change conference, COP 29, in Baku, Azerbaijan in November.

On 7 June, our team organised an event involving country delegates, international organisation representatives, academics, and civil society members to discuss the issue of nitrogen.

The event, Making nitrogen visible through the Rio Conventions showcased how sustainable nitrogen management can deliver just, inclusive, and enduring progress towards internationally agreed goals and targets on climate, biodiversity and desertification.

Exploring impact of nitrogen use on climate

While nitrogen is necessary to ensure food security, its overuse and mismanagement can lead to air and water pollution, soil degradation, greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity loss.

Industrial animal agriculture contributes significantly to this issue. Synthetic nitrogen fertilisers are needed to produce feed crops on which the factory farming industry relies. Globally an astonishing 70 to 80 per cent of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers is lost to air, runs off from agricultural fields, being transferred into natural ecosystems or is otherwise wasted. Excessive and poorly managed animal manure and heavily intensive farming conditions further exacerbate the issue. Environmental, health and financial implications come with such waste.

Compassion event considered nitrogen’s role in international environmental agreements

In partnership with the Pakistan Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, the UN Environment Programme, the International Nitrogen Management System, and University of Agriculture Faisalabad, this event explored nitrogen’s interlinkages to the international agreements that govern climate change, biodiversity, and desertification.

Distinguished panellists from the governments of Pakistan and Romania, the UN Environment Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology spoke of the need to break down silos and better link the various processes governing nitrogen waste and pollution. All agreed that urgent action and global coordination are needed.

Our Global Head of International Affairs, Eirini Pitsilidi said during the event:

“We know changes to our agrifood systems can make animal agriculture part of the solution in safeguarding our climate, ecosystems, soils, and lands. These changes include transforming what we eat, how much of it we eat, how we produce it, and how we trade it.”

Read more about our activity at COP28 last year.


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