Climate summits and agreements to curb global emissions mean little if not followed up by action
New research from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) has revealed that emissions from Europe’s 20 biggest meat and dairy companies outstrips emissions produced by countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark. The issue with that is that only three companies have committed to reduce their overall emissions from livestock.
The report calculated 35 of Europe’s largest meat and dairy companies’ emissions and found it equivalent to 7% of the EU’s total emissions in 2018. Furthermore, the report said the 20 biggest meat and dairy companies in Europe produce almost a third more greenhouse gas emissions than the Netherlands, and almost five times as much as Denmark. 7 out of 10 companies tracked over time saw their climate footprint grow between 2016 and 2018.
The analysis revealed six key approaches to climate targets and plans among the 20 biggest companies, however, none of the approaches involve a shift to agroecological farming or production of less and better meat and dairy. Many companies reduce emissions through regenerative farming practices; however, corporations invest relatively little in regen practices and instead farmers carry the bulk of the cost and risk. With Nestle spending 1.8% of its 2018 sales revenue on investments in regenerative practices. Half the companies included in the report don’t provide any emissions data and ten companies don’t have an emissions reduction target.
According to the report, animal farming is responsible for 17% of Europe’s emissions and rose by 6% between 2007 and 2018.