Today is World Environment Day, a day of celebrating the nature of this beautiful planet we inhabit and urging us all to do more to protect it.
It’s fair to say that the environmental movement has been under siege since the election of President Trump.
So when he pulled America out of the Paris Accord last week, I don’t think anyone was surprised.
History will not judge Trump kindly for his blatant disregard to the wellbeing of future generations. However the response to Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement by governments both international and statewide in the US has been encouraging.
Despite this positive action it has been startling to see that shifting the world to a vegan diet is still missing as a discussed pathway towards slowing down climate change.
The research by think-tank Chatham House suggests a global shift towards a vegan diet will slow down the speed of climate change buying us time to decarbonise our energy and transport systems.
As we approach a general election here in the UK, it has been shocking that only the Green Party have been talking regularly about the need to tackle climate change.
Let us not forget that if we follow our current greenhouse gases trajectory we are expected to see 500,000 global deaths a year directly linked to climate change.
To change policy takes time. I know from experience that many NGO’s are working off 3-5 year policy strategies. As a movement I believe us vegans need to be making great efforts to influence international climate policy.
This means taking a holistic approach with our advocacy around climate change. It's vital that the vegan movement recognises the impact of fossil fuels (even if a large percentage of them are burned in the name of animal agriculture). We must support campaigns to end airport expansion, stop burning coal, halt fracking and other extreme energy projects like drilling for oil in the Arctic.
We must build alliances. Yes, we must advocate for vegan awareness campaigns from government’s and NGO’s that talk about the impact of animal agriculture. We must do this passionately and with haste because we don’t have time to waste.
And we must be part of the wider environmental movement. Let’s use today as a place to start some of those conversations.
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