Choosing a Sustainable Future: Agroecology at COP24

Getting at the Roots

The best session I attended at the global climate summit was How Do We Get There? Agriculture, Energy and Systemic Change to Meet the Paris Agreement, which included this presentation by Shefali Sharma.

Shefali and Kelsey at session on Missing Pathways

Kelsey Perlman (FERN) and Shefali Sharma (IATP)

Shefali is the director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) European office. IATP has been a great partner in PHP’s work on food sovereignty.

Shefali spoke about IATP and GRAIN‘s new publication, Emissions Impossible: How Big Meat and Dairy are Heating Up the Planet (English download here). The high CO2 emissions from industrial agriculture – meat and dairy in this case – are contrasted with the cooling effect of agroecology and the prosperity it can bring to small-scale farmers around the world.

Rather than write about it, I’ll let Shefali explain each of the first three charts in these short clips. This one is 13 seconds.

This one is 30 seconds.

This one is 34 seconds.

Here is Shefali Sharma’s full 10-minute talk.

Related to this topic, “Two ways to tackle livestock’s contribution to the climate crisis,” which advocates for moving away from industrial meat and dairy and redirecting support to sustainable smallholder systems as the way forward.

The emphasis is on these two clashing models. One model mass produces what at first glance appear to be cheap commodities for global markets. But the true costs are huge: exploitation of workers and animals, pollution, deforestation and massive climate change, all propped up with enormous public subsidies.

The other model feeds communities through local markets, provides livelihoods and employment, and can be far more sustainable and productive but goes invisible and unsupported.

Check out and share these great downloadable fact sheets from GRAIN and IATP:

My other posts from COP24:

And one from last December:

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