In seeking their final agreement, delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference turned to the existing Kyoto Protocol and spoke of maintaining its terms to offer additional time for a broader accord.
Supreme Master Television’s correspondent tells us more, with a special report on the factor of agriculture.
Supreme Master Television COP15 Correspondent: As negotiators continued to spend long hours in intense discussion, one area considered essential is a commitment from industrialized countries to support developing nations in achieving emission reductions as well as adapting to the more immediate effects of global warming.
José Manuel Barroso – President of European Commission (M): This conference is very important from an environment and development point of view, but it is also a question of moral responsibility and the first test case for the global community.
Supreme Master Television COP15 Correspondent: One significant issue discussed at the summit is agriculture. Animal agriculture is a main driver of global warming.
Maude Barlow – Chair of Council of Canadians, Food & Water Watch Board chair, Former United Nations senior advisor on water (F): Industrial agriculture is the biggest culprit.
Supreme Master Television COP15 Correspondent: Livestock raising also strains water and food grain supplies in a world where global warming is worsening hunger.
Ancha Srinivasan - Senior Climate Change Specialist, Asia Development Bank (M): To grow animals and then to be eaten by human beings consumes a lot of resources. It is almost like 10 times or even sometimes more.
Jens Holm – Former European Parliament Member, Vegetarian (M): Governments of the world should take away all the subsidies that today goes to the meat industry.
Supreme Master Television COP15 Correspondent: But as delegates such as US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack pointed out:
Tom Vilsack – US Secretary of Agriculture (M): While agriculture has always been conceived as part of the emissions problem, it is a significant part of the solution to climate change.
Supreme Master Television COP15 Correspondent: During the Copenhagen summit, one vital way that has been proposed is to encourage farmers to adopt more sustainable practices, such as no-till agriculture that absorbs huge volumes of emissions.
Maude Barlow (F): One of the huge answers to our global crisis is more sustainable, local, safer food production, and obviously a deep reduction in the consumption of meat.
Ancha Srinivasan - Senior Climate Change Specialist, Asia Development Bank (M): People should go for organic farming as well as the vegetarian diet.
Supreme Master Television COP15 Correspondent: According to a major UK government-supported report published in The Lancet, trying to capture the methane emitted by ruminant cattle, or using feed crops that would produce less methane simply won’t do enough, nor fast enough to stop temperature rises that endanger human lives. But food policy to reduce meat consumption could. Professor Sir Andrew Haines who headed the research team explained.
Professor Sir Andrew Haines, M.D. – Director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (M): Could it all be done just by improving technology of farming, better manure management, more efficient use of feed stocks and so on? We concluded that would be not sufficient.
Many of the projections do suggest that we may be nearing the point of not being able to keep the increase in temperature down to 2 degrees. So the kind of trajectory we're on at the moment suggests that we may well breach that unless we take radical action.
Jens Holm – Former European Parliament Member, Vegetarian (M): Be vegetarian; yes, that’s by far the best you can do.
Supreme Master Television COP15 Correspondent: A vegan diet and organic vegan farming – It’s in deed the fastest, least expensive way to halt global warming. This is Supreme Master Television, Copenhagen, Denmark.
VOICE: We thank the leaders and experts who have been working diligently for the benefit of the world's co-citizens. May all wise governments act swiftly towards an organic plant-based food policy to ensure the survival and wellbeing of humankind and the planet.
With foresight about the fragile future of agriculture, Supreme Master Ching Hai has long advocated such practices as organic vegan farming to mitigate global warming, as in this November 2009 climate change conference in Washington, DC, USA.