Making our Voices Heard at the Climate Change Mass Lobby
Philip Mansbridge June 27, 2019
In recent months we’ve seen a rise in climate change issues becoming front and centre of people’s minds. In London this week it was no exception.
People from all walks of life gathered in an orderly line outside the Houses of Parliament as part of the Mass Lobby on Climate Change (The Time is Now). I’ve had to queue to get into Parliament many, many times before, but this was a queue like no other! Spanning from the gates of Parliament, across Lambeth Bridge and back to Westminster Bridge! Thousands and thousands of people, ordered by their local Constituency, and so many that this time the MP’s had to come to us!
I was grateful to meet Neil Coyle MP (Labour, Old Southwark and Bermondsey) to discuss a range of issues and concerns regarding Climate Change on behalf of ProVeg UK. I wanted to talk about food, particularly the issue of meat reduction, and the benefit that plant-based diets and meat reduction can have on reducing damaging emissions. More specifically I was interested in discussing food policy, subsidies for large scale agriculture and governmental procurement, along with school meals and the necessary menu and behavioural changes in this area.
A report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2013 found that the livestock sector is responsible for 14.5% of human-induced Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Whilst that may not sound much, this is equivalent to the GHG emissions of all the world’s transportation systems combined! Despite this, it seems that diet and food systems, perhaps the easiest thing for everyone to change, is so often not even discussed in policy terms.
Neil listened actively and ensured us that this was an issue close to his heart and on his agenda. We know that the Governments of the world need to act now and act fast. We’re already on target to miss our targets. Ultimately, anything less than everything will be too little.
If climate change concerns you, then reducing your meat and dairy intake is a great, tangible and meaningful action that you can take – and it’s as easy as just picking up a different sandwich this lunchtime. You can learn more about the multiple benefits of plant-based diets on our website at www.proveg.com.
Executive Director for ProVeg UK. Philip has extensive knowledge of plant-based food and related animal welfare issues. Philip has previously headed up leading animal welfare and conservation charities, including in the role of UK Director for at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Care for the Wild International, as well as working in senior positions at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Guide Dogs and Cats Protection, and is a regular at animal and plant-based events up and down the country.