Ban Beef across campus to combat climate crisis!
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Producing beef is detrimental to the environment (1). More sustainable protein sources are as nutritious and tasty. Banning beef on campus would reduce the environmental impact of the university and is a solution to cope with the urgent climate crisis that we are facing. Sign this petition to ask the University to take action!
Extreme weather events, rising temperatures and sea levels, and pollution are threats that our generation must deal with. Around the world people lose their homes and food security due to climate change and this will continue to worsen in coming years unless major preventative measures are taken! Even in Cornwall, flooding and unseasonable weather impact transport. We need to act now.
Beef is the most environmentally damaging food source, not only in terms of greenhouse gas emissions but also land use, water use, eutrophication and deforestation. Indeed, 75% of the greenhouse gases from global meat consumption are from beef and producing a serving of beef requires 20x more land than a serving of plant protein (2). The IPCC Report on Climate Change and Land Use (3) confirms that we must change our dietary habits in order to have any hope of keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees.
We are a group of students from Be The Change Society, passionate about the environment and making the university more sustainable. After declaring an Environment and Climate Emergency, a team of over 30 staff and students, including leading environment and climate experts, developed The Environment and Climate Emergency Working Group White Paper (November 2019) to define practical solutions for the university. This White Paper strongly recommends a reduction in the meat sold on campus in order to reduce the University's carbon emissions and environmental footprint.
Cambridge University have already successfully banned beef with a positive response from staff and students and a 33% decrease in carbon emissions per kg of food purchased (4). Catering outlets on campus already propose a large choice of tasty alternatives, and this is an opportunity to try more amazing sustainable food options. Banning beef would help the university become more carbon neutral as well as indirectly reducing our land and water use. As students, we care about the future of our environment and we feel it is our duty to ask institutions to put their actions in line with the recommendations of experts. For this reason, a ban on beef would be a massive step forward for the university.
It's a great opportunity to become sustainable and we need as much support as possible to make this happen before it's too late!
1: Carrington, Damian (2014). Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says experts. The Guardian. Website browsed 19/01/19 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars
3: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2018). Special report – Global warming of 1.5°C. Summary for policy makers. C.2.5
4: University of Cambridge News, (September 2019). Removing beef and lamb from menu dramatically reduces food-related carbon emissions at Cambridge University. https://www.cam.ac.uk/news/removing-beef-and-lamb-from-menu-dramatically-reduces-food-related-carbon-emissions-at-cambridge
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