To Avert Global Climate Catastrophe, Coalition Urges Copenhagen Conference Delegates to Stress Importance of Dietary Changes

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Veg Climate Alliance urges Copenhagen delegates to recommend shifts to plant-based diets as essential to avert an unprecedented global climate catastrophe. The group cites recent UN and other reports and statements by leading climate experts and discusses other benefits of such diets.

The picture is quite grim - if the human race does not do anything, climate change will have serious impacts (...) Please eat less meat - meat is a very carbon intensive commodity.

A major societal shift to plant-based diets is essential to avoid an unprecedented global climate catastrophe! This is the message that Veg Climate Alliance, a broad coalition of environmental, vegetarian, animal rights, health and other groups, is stressing in conjunction with the major global climate change conference in Copenhagen from December 7 -18.

In an attempt to "turn Copenhagen into CopenVegan," the alliance is organizing a forum on "Vegetarianism: Essential to Save the Planet?" on Sunday, December 13, 2009. The event, to be held at Mogens Dahl Koncertsal, Snorresgade 22, DK 2300 København S, will have talks, videos, panel discussions, questions and answers and a sampling of vegan foods. In addition to the forum, the group has placed an ad in the December 8 issue of the Copenhagen Post, a publication that will be widely distributed to people in Copenhagen for the conference, will take part in demonstrations and will use flyers, posters, banners and stickers to get their essential message out. The group is also sending letters to conference delegates and to key governmental officials stressing the urgency of dietary changes. A link to the letter and the supporting groups and a link to a flyer that the group is distributing in Copenhagen are at the end of this release.

"We feel that the fate of humanity and all of Creation is at stake," stated Richard H. Schwartz, VCA director, "and it is essential that the urgency of dietary changes to avoid a climate disaster be part of the message resulting from the Copenhagen climate conference."

Veg Climate Alliance is urging consideration of recent reports that show the significant role that animal-based agriculture plays in causing global warming:

· Livestock production is responsible for more GHGs than all the world's transport combined. (18 percent vs. 13.5 percent, in CO2 equivalents) (Livestock's Long
Shadow, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization)

· According to the Worldwatch Institute the livestock sector contributes at least 51 percent of global human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
(Former World Bank Environmental Advisor Robert Goodland and World Bank Environmental Specialist Jeff Anhang, "Livestock and Climate Change", World Watch magazine, Nov/Dec 2009)

· The world's population of farmed animals will double in 50 years if current trends continue. (Livestock's Long Shadow) The resulting increase in GHGs would largely negate emission reductions from all other sectors.

Veg Climate Alliance is also pointing out that climate change is occurring faster than even in worst-case projections, and they are quoting leading climate scientists and economists calling for a reduction in meat consumption:

"The picture is quite grim - if the human race does not do anything, climate change will have serious impacts (...) Please eat less meat - meat is a very carbon intensive commodity." -- Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC

"(...) I think cutting back and substituting more fruit and vegetables is a responsible alternative." -- Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Truth

"(...) in terms of individual action changing your diet is the best thing you can do." -- Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies

"Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world's resources. A vegetarian diet is better." -- Lord Stern of Bradford, former World Bank Chief Economist

The alliance is also stressing that a major switch to plant-based diets would have many additional benefits, including reducing: heart disease, cancer and other chronic, degenerative diseases; water pollution, deforestation, soil erosion, species extinction, desertification and other environmental problems; the wasteful use of land, water, energy and other resources; and the massive mistreatment and slaughter of billions of farmed animals annually.

Veg Climate Alliance's mission is to increase awareness and facilitate communication on the benefits of plant-based diets and related issues. Our mission statement: http://vegclimatealliance.org/about/

Further info: http://www.VegClimateAlliance.org, http://www.Copenvegan.com and http://www.PlanetDiet.org

Text of Letter Being Sent to the Delegates to the December Copenhagen Climate Crisis Conference Urging They Support Shifts to Plant-Based Diets:

vegclimatealliance.org/veg-climate-alliance-letter-to-copenhagen-delegates/

Flyer VCA is distributing widely in Copenhagen:

http://copenvegan.com/banners-and-signs/

Contact person: Richard H. Schwartz, Director, Veg Climate Alliance
Director(at)VegClimateAlliance(dot)org
Phone: (718) 761-5876     Mobile: (917) 576-0344

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