COP27: WHAT IS MEAT’S ROLE IN SUSTAINABILITY?
The Washington-based agriculture agency, the Interamerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), convened its first-ever Sustainable Agriculture in the Americas pavilion at the UN Climate Summit (COP27). The group partnered with lobby group Protein Pact and other stakeholders to convene a total of nine events at the summit focused on animal agriculture’s key role in sustainability.
The Protein Pact events included a 9 November panel on sustainable livestock across regions and production systems where the National Pork Board’s assistant vice president Ashley McDonald described US pork’s commitments to ethical principles, best practices, and documenting proof. The Pork Board and Pork Checkoff have launched on-farm sustainability reports, won-farm sustainability reports which have been awarded $20 million in USDA Climate-Smart Commodities grant funding to expand the measurement and implementation of climate-smart practices.
Aiming for 100% emissions reduction targets
North American Meat Institute chief strategy officer Eric Mittenthal moderated another panel about the scientific evidence on the essential dietary contributions of animal-source foods and optimising the environmental impact of animal agriculture.
The Meat Institute’s first-ever continuous improvement report found that among companies accounting for an estimated 90% of meat sold in the United States, 81% of reporting facilities are covered by company-wide commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Meat Institute aims for 100% of members to have delivered emissions reduction targets (approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative) by 2030.
Speaking at COP27, Dr. Adegbola Adesogan, director of the University of Florida Food Systems Institute, commented: “Most common measures of environmental impact ignore nutrient-density: the contribution of foods to achieving recommended intakes of critical nutrients. Sustainability solutions must ensure sustainable production of animal-source foods, which are ‘brain foods’ for the children our future depends on. Eating meat, dairy, and eggs improves children’s cognition and growth.”
Dr. Manual Otero, director general of IICA, added: “The livestock sector is moving at full tilt towards sustainability in the Americas and around the world and continues to play a central role in global food security. IICA will continue to champion the critical role of sustainable agriculture, including livestock production, at future COPs.”