COP26 forest fund ‘must help move away from animal agriculture’
2 November 2021
The Good Food Institute has welcomed a deforestation pledge announced at COP26 – but is calling for some of the promised forest protection fund to be invested in sustainable food.
The Good Food Institute has welcomed a deforestation pledge – but is calling for some of the promised forest protection fund to be invested in sustainable food.
Under the pledge – the first major announcement of the COP26 summit – more than 100 world leaders are expected to agree to end and reverse deforestation by 2030, while £14 billion of public and private funding will be set aside to protect forests and their inhabitants.
Sophie Armour, spokesperson for the Good Food Institute Europe, said: “This announcement is a positive sign for our forests – but it’s crucial that a portion of the promised funding is used to tackle the root causes of deforestation.
“A substantial chunk of this money – at least 10% – could help to accelerate a major move away from industrial animal agriculture, one of the biggest drivers of deforestation.
“Global demand for meat is set to increase by 73% by 2050. To feed a growing population while protecting precious habitats, governments must invest in the innovation and infrastructure we need to scale up plant-based and cultivated meat.”
Food sustainability NGO the Good Food Institute (GFI) is on the ground at the summit, encouraging national governments to include sustainable proteins – making meat from plants and cultivating it from cells – in their national plans.
A recent study led by Oxford University found that – even if fossil fuel emissions were eliminated immediately – the world cannot meet its Paris Agreement targets without shifting away from conventional animal agriculture.
Research shows that moving towards plant-based meat would reduce emissions by 30-90%, while cultivating meat from cells could cut the climate impact of meat by up to 92%, reduce air pollution by up to 93%, and use up to 95% less land and 78% less water.
GFI is calling for research and development investment partnerships between leading countries that would advance sustainable protein science and innovation, to ensure these foods can compete with conventional animal agriculture.
The call comes a week after the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said reductions in meat consumption would be needed to tackle climate change.