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AIM for Climate Misses the Mark

Press Release Section Icon 12/15/2021

AIM for Climate misses the mark and fails to support regenerative solutions and indigenous stewardship

Compassion in World Farming says AIM for Climate ignores meat reduction as a climate solution

New York, NY (Dec. 15, 2021) – Compassion in World Farming is writing to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) calling for the US-backed Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate, or AIM4C) to be expanded to fund and implement more equitable solutions. The letter has been co-signed by 20 organizations ranging from environmental and animal protection groups to academic institutions – including Humane Society International, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Harvard Animal Law & Policy Clinic, and more.

The letter reads: Regenerative solutions should be the pinnacle of any future-focused agricultural planning, many of which are readily available. Estimates suggest that restoring the world’s soil biodiversity using known practices could reduce atmospheric carbon to safe levels within 10-15 years. In addition, Indigenous peoples’ stewardship has also proven essential to climate preservation and sustainable food production through ecosystem management, enhanced resiliency to natural disasters and weather changes, and the use of centuries-old knowledge that has been curated and passed down for generations.

Supporters can join Compassion USA and ask the USDA to expand Aim for Climate’s commitments by signing on to the call for a more humane, regenerative, and equitable future. Learn more about current food systems and how to help make a difference at ciwf.com/aimformore.

The USDA has expressed concerns that meat reduction would compromise food security, but a growing body of research suggests otherwise. The US livestock population outweighs the US human population by about five times and consumes over seven times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population. The amount of grain-fed to US livestock alone is sufficient to feed about 840 million people who follow a plant-based diet, about 2.5 times the US population and 11% of the world’s population. Additionally, 18.9 million tons of wild-caught fish are fed to factory-farmed fish and crustaceans, highlighting more inefficiencies in industrial agriculture. Animal farming takes up 83% of the world’s agricultural land but delivers only 18% of the world's calories. Ben Williamson, US Executive Director, Compassion in World Farming stated:

AIM for Climate provided no opportunity for the public to participate in its development or provide comments before its launch. This year’s IPCC report signaled a ‘code red for humanity,’ highlighting the need for immediate, decisive action and AIM4C lacks urgency and delays action.

For the reasons outlined above, Compassion USA asks that AIM for Climate be expanded to implement the following measures:

  1. Adopt science-based reduction targets for chemically based pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides, and adopt a science-based target to revert a proportion of agricultural land to its natural state.
  2. Facilitate a just transition away from factory-farmed meat, dairy, egg, and fish production to diverse protein portfolios, and equitably shift to livestock practices that are scientifically verified humane and produce lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Remove barriers to entry from AIM4C and provide funding to maintain and expand the implementation of sustainable, regenerative, and localized practices. Additionally, ensure food sovereignty by protecting small communities, indigenous peoples, and other groups from land grabs and supporting smallholder access to land and resources.
  4. Set measurable, incremental targets for the above expansions through 2025.

For more information, please email Ronnika.McFall@ciwf.org.


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