The U.N. Awards California For It’s Landmark Legislation Regulating Methane Emissions From Dairy Farms

This is an example of why I feel proud to live in California, one of the most progressive states in the U.S, and a leader in climate action. In 2016, California became the first state in the country to enact a bill regulating greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture.

Bill 1383, “Short-lived climate pollutants: methane emissions: dairy and livestock: organic waste: landfills,” now law is significant because California is the largest producer of dairy in the U.S, and there are no state or federal laws regarding regulations of greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture related to climate change. The bill requires dairy farms to reduce methane emissions by 40% from 2013 levels by 2030. The program fully goes into effect in 2024.

The UN recognized California’s landmark legislation at COP23 in Bonn Germany by awarding the state of California its Climate and Clean Air Award for having the most comprehensive and strongest set of targets for reducing short-lived climate pollutant emissions into state law for Bill 1383.

Enacting these types of regulations at the state level is a great start. We need more states to enact similar legislation to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by industrial animal agriculture if we are going to meet the Paris agreement goals, regardless of the fact that our current federal administration has chosen to be the ONLY country on the planet not to be in the Paris accord.

You as a voting citizen of the U.S. can make regulations like what California did happen by contacting your local government representatives and by creating a coalition of your fellow citizens to apply pressure. The power of the people have more strength over big industry interests when we work collectively and largely.

COP23: The Role of Livestock Reduction in Meeting Climate Targets And Other Related Animal Ag Events

At this year’s United Nations COP23 event in Bonn, Germany, there was an official side event called “Reducing Livestock’s Long Shadow.” The event was sponsored by ProVeg International and Green Course.

This event was the only official side event at COP23 about animal agriculture and climate change. This topic should be a main COP event because industrial animal agriculture impacts climate change more than the entire transportation sector according to the UN FAO.

But hey, let’s find ways to make industrial animal agriculture’s impact on climate change a bigger topic globally so that next year at COP24, this topic does get a main event.

Thankfully, the “Reducing Livestock’s Long Shadow” event was recorded and it’s on YouTube. The video includes the talks from the panel members and audience discussion. The panel was excellent and there was so much great information not only on current data but also on possible action items.

 

The panel speakers included:

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Besides this “Reducing Livestock’s Long Shadow” event, Brighter Green wrote up this great blog post of other food and climate change related events.

Less Meat Less Heat did this great re-cap post with photos of their launch of Put Climate on Pause Coalition that proposes the adoption of a two-valued reporting standard for Global Warming Potential (GWP), that includes both 20- and 100-year timescales to give a broader view of the impacts of SLCPs (short-lived climate pollutants), including methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture.

When methane and nitrous oxide are included in the short-term 20 year picture, the impact of industrial animal agriculture on climate change bumps significantly because the leading cause of both gases are from guess what? Yeah. Methane has 86 times the warming potential of CO2 over 20 years (GWP20) versus 34 times over 100 years. (GWP100).

I wrote about how Methane is worse than you think in this post, “10 Staggering Facts: How Massive The Industrial Animal Agriculture Problem Actually Is.”

And lastly, I want to give a shout out to these activists from ASEED Europe who led a protest of the Livestock Industry’s lobbying at COP23. Bravo!

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