Factory farms responsible for £8bn of climate disaster damage in Global South

  • New research published by World Animal Protection, a co-host of COP28’s Food4Climate Pavilion, reveals that factory farms in the Global North are responsible for $8.65 billion worth of damage caused by recent climate disasters in Africa, Asia and South America
  • The research also finds that the economic costs associated with climate driven disasters globally could exceed $1 trillion annually by 2050, with factory farms liable for over $100 billion of that cost
  • Titled ‘How Factory Farming Emissions are Worsening Climate Disasters in the Global South’, World Animal Protection’s report comes just before COP28 begins. For the first time, a whole day of talks will be dedicated to the relationship between our global food systems and the warming of our planet 
  • In partnership with the Food4Climate Pavilion, World Animal Protection will bring the urgent need for global food systems transformation to the heart of COP28 

As the world gears up for COP28, new research published today by World Animal Protection, a leading advocate for animal welfare, reveals the staggering impact of factory farming on climate-driven disasters in the Global South. 

The report, titled ‘How Factory Farming Emissions are Worsening Climate Disasters in the Global South,’ reveals that factory farms in the Global North are responsible for a staggering $8.65 billion worth of devastation caused by recent climate disasters in Africa, Asia, and South America.

The alarming research is set to be showcased at the Food4Climate Pavilion during COP28. The Food4Climate Pavilion is led by ProVeg International, World Animal Protection, Upfield and other leading global actors, such as Compassion in World Farming. It represents a unique coming together of private and third-sector organisations who are calling for food systems transformation for the benefit of people, animals and the planet.

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The research projects that by 2050 the economic costs associated with climate-driven disasters worldwide could surpass a monumental $1 trillion annually. Of this, factory farms could be held accountable for over $100 billion of this colossal expense.

With people all over the world facing the harsh reality of climate change, it is manifesting in more frequent and extreme weather events, such as droughts, heatwaves, wildfires, storms and flooding. The environmental impact of producing more than 80 billion land animals for food each year[1] is contributing to the worsening of these crises, whilst factory farming contributes 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, World Animal Protection today reveals.  

Meanwhile, profits derived by some of the world’s biggest meat processors and packers, based in the Global North, come at the expense of the livelihoods of those in the Global South, where people are hardest hit by these climate induced weather disasters. 

Through the Food4Climate Pavilion, World Animal Protection will sound the alarm on the damaging impacts of our global food systems at COP28, not only on the environment but also on animals, human health and the livelihoods of many in the Global South. 

An entire day of talks at COP28 will be dedicated to discussions around the intricate relationship between global food systems and climate change on Food Day. World Animal Protection has set the stage for a focused exploration of the urgent measures required for food systems transformation.

Kelly Dent, World Animal Protection’s Global Director of External Engagement, said:

“World leaders must act meaningfully at COP28. The factory farming industry must be held accountable by governments and finance must be directed to the Global South communities on the front line of climate change.   

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 ”COP28 must take action to shore up a humane and sustainable food supply, with governments withdrawing subsidies for industrial meat and dairy and redirecting them to plant-based foods in ways that support small scale farmers. Animals remaining on factory farms should be spared the worst forms of suffering.”    

Raphaël Podselver, Director of UN Affairs at ProVeg International said:

“This research from our co-host World Animal Protection underscores the urgent need for collective action at COP28. We must urge stakeholders to prioritise sustainable practices in food production to mitigate these profound consequences.”

Returning to COP for its second year, the Food4Climate Pavilion will call for a transformational shift to plant-rich, balanced and diversified diets. 

With COP28 beginning tomorrow, World Animal Protection’s report signals a clarion call for concerted efforts toward transformative change in our food systems to safeguard against escalating climate-related catastrophes.

[1] ‘The hidden impacts of industrial livestock systems’, World Animal Protection 

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