MEPs’ Joint Statement On Fighting Climate Change With Diet Change

40 MEPs have signed the following statement of support for the Million Dollar Vegan campaign, which encourages people to fight climate change with diet change by going vegan for Lent.

“The non-profit campaign Million Dollar Vegan along with 12-year-old activist Genesis Butler is asking people worldwide to fight climate change and protect the environment by going vegan for the 40-day-period of Lent.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5 percent of all global, human-caused greenhouse gas emissions1 – which makes it the second highest source of emissions and greater than fuel emissions from all the world’s cars, trains, ships, and planes combined.

Climate change is one of the most pressing topics of our time. A recent assessment by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that it is necessary and even vital to maintain the global temperature increase below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, which is on the more ambitious end of the Paris Climate Agreement, which suggested global temperature rise should be well below 2°C. To achieve the objectives, the IPCC concludes it would “require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society“.2

Research published by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in 2018 found that in order to cut global emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, it is going to be imperative that the livestock sector limit their emissions, as taken together, “the top 20 meat and dairy industry emitters produce more emissions than many OECD countries“.3

While 83% of farmland is currently being taken up by animal agriculture, it provides only 18% of our calories – therefore being a more inefficient way to produce food to feel a growing population, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date on the impact of livestock on our planet.4 For these reasons researchers at Oxford University recently stated that the “single biggest thing anyone can do to help the planet“ is to choose a plant-based diet.5

Abstaining from animal products for the 40-day-period of Lent, or for any other occasion, makes a difference for the planet and the footprint we each leave on the Earth. If every person went vegan for Lent, it will be the equivalent to the whole of Germany not emitting CO2 for a year.6

We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, express our concern about the danger of climate change and environment destruction. We therefore support Million Dollar Vegan and Genesis Butler’s attempts to raise awareness for this issue and fight climate change with diet change.

It is time for solutions. Climate change will impact every country, person and ecosystem on the planet.

We need to act now – everybody is able to positively contribute to being a part of the solution.”

Yours sincerely,

Stefan Eck / GUE/NGL / Germany

Dr. Klaus Buchner / Greens/EFA / Germany

Martina Michels / GUE/NGL / Germany

Tilly Metz / Greens/EFA / Luxembourg

Lola Sánchez / GUE/NGL / Spain

Miguel Urbán / GUE/NGL / Spain

Xabier Benito / GUE/NGL / Spain

Tania González / GUE/NGL / Spain

Barbara Spinelli / GUE/NGL / Italy

Merja Kyllönen / GUE/NGL / Finland

John Flack / ECR / UK

Pavel Poc / S&D / Czech Republic

Jeppe Kofod / S&D / Denmark

Georges Bach / EVP / Luxembourg

Marisa Matias / GUE/NGL / Portugal

Neoklis Sylikiotis / GUE/NGL / Cyprus

Indrek Tarand / Greens/EFA / Estonia

Jiří Maštálka / GUE/NGL / Czech Republic

Ángela Vallina / GUE/NGL / Spain

Martin Sonneborn / GUE/NGL / Spain

Gabi Zimmer / NI / Germany

Kateřina Konečná / GUE/NGL / Czech Republic

Anja Hazekamp / GUE/NGL / Netherlands

Cornelia Ernst / GUE/NGL /  Germany

Helmut Scholz / GUE/NGL / Germany

Florent Marcellesi / Greens/EFA / Spain

Isabella De Monte / S&D / Italy

Thomas Waitz / Greens/EFA / Austria

Catherine Bearder / ALDE/ UK

Dimitris Papadimoulis / GUE/NGL / Greece

Younous Omarjee / GUE/NGL / France

Knut Fleckenstein / S&D / Germany

Malin Björk / GUE/NGL / Sweden

Julia Reda / Greens/EFA  / Germany

Takis Hadjigeorgiou / GUE/NGL / Cyprus

Tamás Meszerics / Greens/EFA / Hungary

Javier Couso / GUE/NGL / Spain

Eleonora Evi / EFDD / Italy

Arne Gericke / ECR / Germany

Marco Zullo / EFDD / Italy


1 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, ‘Tackling climate change through livestock: a global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities’, 2013 []

2 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ‘Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C approved by governments’, 2018 []

3 GRAIN, ‘Emissions impossible: How big meat and dairy are heating up the planet’, 2018 []

4 Poore1, T. Nemecek, ‘Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers’, 2018 []

5 D. Carrington, ‘Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth’, 2018 []

6 Figures provided by Joseph Poore of Oxford University

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