Global meat consumption has risen by nearly a quarter in the last decade and is expected to continue to rise as developing countries adopt more affluent countries’ dominant eating patterns, heavy in meat and dairy. This is a worrying trend as the meat industry is responsible for 70% of rainforest destruction and the emission of 7.1 Gigatonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, which equates to 14.5% of total global emissions.
A changing climate effects everyone, but it’s the world’s poorest and those in vulnerable situations who are disproportionately impacted. This is especially marked for women and girls living in developing countries as they suffer more from extreme weather conditions because they tend to work in the agricultural sector, collecting firewood and water for their families.
Climate change is a long-term issue that must be addressed with long-term policies. As the UK enters unchartered territory, it is extremely important that COP24 provides a platform to help the UK public understand the uncertainty and complexity which Brexit poses for climate negotiations.
What is the role of the scientific community in Climate Action? Should we just be providing facts and figures to decision makers, or should we also be taking further steps to enhance understanding in their communities and on the international stage to put research into practice?
Finance issues are set to take centre stage in Katowice: one of the key desired outcomes of COP24 is ensuring increasingly just and equitable access to climate finance. However why is it taking a conference for institutions to make these landmark gestures?
Children and young people are the most energetic, ambitious, passionate and creative group. If we can utilise at least some of this to help in the discussions surrounding climate change, then surely our ‘solutions’ will be more effective and sustainable.
Events like COP are undoubtedly key in the global fight to tackle climate change, however, there is a certain irony to the presence of thousands of delegates flown in from all around the world at a conference on climate change.