FAIRR Urges Investors To Include Livestock Emissions

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The ‘elephant in the room’ may well be replaced with the ‘cow in the room’ when it comes to GHG emissions. Livestock is the biggest emitter of gases that cause climate change. Yet, authorities and decision-makers tend to focus on other industries, such as transportation and manufacturing, and leave animal agriculture out of their mitigation plans.

In response to that, FAIRR is sending out a strong message to negotiators at the COP23 taking place November 6-11 in Bonn, Germany. FAIRR has investors managing over $4 trillion in assets participating in its activities.

FAIRR cites the fact that 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are caused by the livestock sector. Despite that, not a single developed world country has a concrete plan to tackle livestock emissions in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), it says.

INDCs are each country’s agreed plan to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.

“It’s two years since Paris rang the starting bell on the low carbon transition and investors have tended to focus on high-emitting sectors like energy, transport and extractives. Investors should not overlook the livestock sector where some of the biggest climate risks and opportunities exist. It’s the elephant in the room in Bonn – especially for developed countries who still drive an unsustainable level of demand for animal protein,” says Jeremy Coller, Founder of the FAIRR Initiative and CIO of Coller Capital. 

The meat processing and distribution sector are also omitted in any country’s INDC, despite being close to one percent of all global emissions.

FAIRR has carried out analysis amongst the 10 most developed countries and found that the combined levels of agricultural emissions in those countries is tantamount to 1.6 billion barrels of oil. FAIRR argues that these countries have a unique responsibility to prioritize emissions from their livestock sector. The top polluting emitters from agricultural activities are the United States, Australia and France.

“Too many delegates at COP23 will be fluent in low carbon automotive innovations from Tesla to telematics, yet still rely on cows and pigs as the outdated technology to supply the world’s protein demand. The next stage of the Paris talks must put cows alongside cars,” adds Coller.

Image credit: FAIRR