Earlier this month (November, 2020), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a new working paper titled Climate Mitigation Policy in Denmark: A Prototype for Other Countries.
The working paper explores the bold policies that are needed to compliment current policies in Denmark in order to achieve the ambitious national commitment to reduce emissions by 70% by 2030. In addition, the necessary measures to reach net-zero Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 at the latest.
A promising approach
The role of animal agriculture in climate mitigation policy is covered, with the IMF paper stating that management measures alone will be insufficient to deliver the necessary reductions in the livestock sector’s GHG emissions. It goes on to suggest that a decrease in the consumption of livestock products and a significant reduction in the number of animals farmed are also needed.
The paper also stresses the additional environmental and public health gains that can be generated by adopting a national strategy that involves a gradual shift to smaller herds and more extensive animal farming. In Denmark, intensive animal farming and diets rich in animal food have been associated with important public health risks such as zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, non-communicable diseases (such as cardiovascular and metabolic diseases), and air and water pollution.
Paving the way forward
We are very pleased to see that a working paper published by one of the world’s leading financial institutions makes direct suggestions about the need to significantly reduce the consumption of animal products well as the number of animals farmed.
“It’s really exciting to see a paper by one of the world’s leading financial institutions highlight the need for a decrease in the consumption of livestock products, if we are to halt runaway climate change”, says Peter Stevenson, our Chief Policy Advisor. "Also, crucial is the paper’s recognition that intensive animal farming is associated with key public health risks, including zoonotic diseases, antibiotics resistance, and air and water pollution. promising to see working papers like this, addressing climate mitigation policies holistically and emphasising long-term change and a real shift to animal farming systems that are better for the climate, the environment, animals and public health.
“We strongly welcome such initiatives and hope to see more international financial institutions engaging with the need for a true shift away from factory farming to regenerative agriculture systems such as agroecology”.
Please join us to demand a future free from factory farming.