Oct 3, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

SA to eat half as much meat: Proposal as Climate Change Bill is debated

An animal rights group has proposed that SA should reduce its consumption and production of animal protein by 50% by 2040.

This is in line with the proposed climate change bill, which is open for public comment until last Friday was week.

The bill targets changes proposed by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment during the ‘just transition’ to a low-carbon economy and tabled in Parliament in February.

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But animal rights group Four Paws expressed concern that the draft law does not strike a balance between sustainable agriculture and sustainable development “and the role of adaptation in achieving such a sustainable agriculture sector, sectoral emissions targets and carbon budgets”.

Fiona Miles, Director of Four Paws, said in her submission to Parliament that the emergence of risks such as Changing rain patterns and higher temperatures require urgent climate change-focused action “to ensure the resilience of a truly sustainable South African agricultural sector.”

She said South Africa is increasingly moving away from a free-ranging livestock sector and processed meat

“That means increasing use of concentrated animal feed operations.”

Miles said such intensive farming poses many environmental risks, including rising greenhouse gas emissions, sharp increases in water consumption and use of land resources.

She believes the bill “currently does not take this into account”.

Four Paws has recommended a reduction in livestock numbers.

“Globally, more than 77% of agricultural land is used for raising and feeding livestock, and animal husbandry is one of the main reasons for the destruction of important areas of the world biodiversity, releasing new pathogens that could trigger the next pandemic.”

Processed feed, Miles said, is not best for the animals.

She said that CO2 -Budgets for livestock farms should not be distorted by carbon offsets. For carbon budgets to have a real impact on climate action, they need to be based on robust and scientifically proven accounting systems.

“The solution is to encourage sustainable agricultural practices through the proposed law while keeping financial and non -Remove financial incentives that support high-carbon and otherwise polluting farming practices.”

Miles believes that by redirecting subsidies and other incentives away from intensive farming towards “sustainable agriculture, diverse and resilient food chains, and small and medium-sized businesses, The government can use this bill to ensure that a growing population has access to healthy food within the limits of the planet.”

“We urge the government to ensure that the proposed legislation as well as possible changes according to the input n by stakeholders form a comprehensive legal framework to kick-start and complete the just transition to a low-carbon future,” she said.

The Parliamentary Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment will take input and make recommendations on amending the proposed review the Climate Change Act and make recommendations to the National Assembly to move the legislative process forward.

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