Well, it happened. Despite strong opposition from both sides, Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. The U.S. joins only two countries not participating in the agreement – Syria and Nicaragua.
The Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015, is a cornerstone of the global fight against climate change and the catastrophic results of this phenomenon. The pact deals with the mitigation, adaptation, and finance of greenhouse gas emissions – the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect.
But thankfully, many do have a voice of reason, unlike Trump and are still committed to the Paris Climate Agreement. Founder and Billionaire CEO of Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg has offered to make up the $15 million in funding that the United Nations stands to lose because of Trumps decision to withdraw from the agreement.
“Americans are not walking away from the Paris Climate Agreement. Just the opposite — we are forging ahead,” Bloomberg said.
And there is even more hope. The New York Times reported, that joining Bloomberg in denouncing Trump’s decision is an unnamed group that includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses, which is negotiating with the United Nations to have their plan for climate change accepted alongside contributions to the Paris climate deal by other nations.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and Washinton State Governor Jay R. Inslee, released a statement reaffirming their commitment to exceed the targets of the agreement and to curb carbon pollution. “Together, California and New York represent approximately 60 million people – nearly one-in-five Americans – and 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. With or without Washington [D.C.], we will work with our partners throughout the world to aggressively fight climate change and protect our future,” part of the statement reads. Bill Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh will also follow the guidelines of the agreement.
You Can Join Them!
While there is undoubtedly a whole lot that needs to be done from a governmental standpoint, we cannot forget the tremendous impact that we all can have every single day. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to lower global greenhouse gas emissions, and interestingly, many of the foods we eat everyday play a large role in those emissions.
On whole, industrial animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector. How is this? Well, we use a majority of the world’s freshwater and land resources to produce cheap meat and dairy. Cattle ranching is directly responsible for 80 percent of deforestation in the Amazon, while the area of deforested lands in South America used to produce soy for livestock is larger than Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Germany combined. Considering a large portion of these goods are imported to the U.S., we are all complicit in the destruction. And this is literally only one example of how industrial animal agriculture impacts the planet (click here for more).
Pretty horrible, right? But what if we told you, we can all make a huge positive impact without even having to try that hard.
Choosing more plant-based foods over meat and dairy is one thing everyone can do to drastically reduce their impact on the environment. Knowing all that we do about the impact of meat consumption on the environment and animals, we are faced with a choice – either we can continue to buy into this destructive industry … or we can choose better.
You can start eating for the planet by doing nothing more than choosing a delicious plant-based meal over one laden with animal products. If you look at it from a personal perspective, you can cut your own carbon footprint in half just by leaving meat off your plate for one year. (Plus save a lot of water, redirect grain for people to eat, and help protect endangered species…)
You can #EatForThePlanet starting today. Just follow the three simple steps below.
1. Moderate: Limit consumption of your favorite meats like beef, lamb, pork, etc.
2. Replace: Try to swap animal-based products in your daily diet with vegan alternatives (milk, butter, mayo, cheese, grilled chicken, beef crumbles, sausages, cold cuts, etc.)
3. Embrace: Add plant-based whole foods (local and organic when possible) to your diet like greens, fresh fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, plant proteins like lentils, nuts/seeds, beans, tofu, etc.
As Nil Zacharias, the co-founder of One Green Planet says, “Eat in a way that nourishes you without starving the planet.”
Considering the fact that many experts have shown that we cannot meet our collective goal to escape a 2 degree Celcius temperature change without reducing our global meat consumption, this is one of the most important things you can do to help. We all have the power to create a better future for our children, and the countless animals we share the planet with, by making one easy swap. If you’re ready to start doing this in your own life, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.
Click on the graphic below for more information
Lead image source: Be the Change, Inc/Flickr