The climate crisis and the food crisis are intimately linked, with the industrial food system - from farm to supermarket - largely responsible for both. Under this programme area, GRAIN draws attention to the responsibility of industrial agriculture and centralised supply chains in causing the climate crisis, and how food sovereignty and peasant-led agroecology offer a tremendous potential to solve a good part of it. We do so through sustained information and outreach activities, and through active strategy development and coalition building with the social movements involved.


Big meat and dairy companies are heating up the planet

GRAIN and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) | 18 July 2018 | Media releases, Climate

A new report shows how the world’s 35 largest meat and dairy companies are pursuing growth strategies that will increase their emissions and derail global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change. 

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Emissions impossible: How big meat and dairy are heating up the planet

GRAIN and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) | 18 July 2018 | Other publications, Climate

The world's biggest meat and dairy companies could surpass Exxon, Shell and BP as the world's biggest climate polluters within the next few decades. At a time when the planet must dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, these global animal protein giants are driving consumption by ramping up production and exports. GRAIN and IATP examined the world’s largest 35 companies and found that most are not reporting their GHG emissions data and few have set targets that could reduce their overall emissions. We need to urgently build food systems that meet the needs of farmers, consumers and the planet. But to do so, we must break the power of the big meat and dairy conglomerates and hold them to account for their supersized climate footprint.

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Big meat and dairy’s supersized climate footprint

GRAIN, IATP and Heinrich Böll Foundation | 07 November 2017 | Other publications, Climate

Three meat companies - JBS, Cargill and Tyson - emitted more greenhouse gases last year than all of France and nearly as much as some of the biggest oil companies like Exxon, BP and Shell. Few meat and dairy companies calculate or publish their climate emissions. So for the first time ever, we have estimated corporate emissions from livestock, using the most comprehensive methodology created to date by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). And before the meat and dairy industries descend upon COP23 to broadcast their “feed the world” narrative, let’s set the story straight: their emissions could lead us to a point of no return.

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Africans demand real climate action

No-REDD Africa, No Vox Togo, Oilwatch Africa and GRAIN | 06 November 2017 | Other publications, Climate

Morocco will hand the presidency over to Fiji at the Conference of Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change taking place in Bonn, Germany.

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Climate change is a political problem that highlights the need for systemic change to the way food is produced, processed and distributed. From agroecological practices that build resilience, to social movements that resist land grabbing, the articles presented here not only argue for changes to the food system but demonstrate some of the possibilities. A joint editorial in Farming Matters magazine.

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As temperatures rise across the globe, meat and dairy have been found to be a major culprit. Still, the industrial meat industry actively facilitates the growth in consumption rates. We can only solve the climate crisis if we take meaningful steps towards agroecology and food sovereignty.

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We cannot address climate change without reducing the production and consumption of industrial meat and dairy. Learn more in this fact sheet drawn up by GRAIN and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

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Through lobbying, marketing, and proselytizing about cheap meat, the global meat industry is working hard to keep industrially produced meat on the menu, sometimes with disastrous consequences.


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When we think of the big drivers of climate change, cars and air travel often come to mind. But transformations over the past century in the way food is produced and consumed have resulted in more greenhouse gas emissions than those from transportation. The biggest culprits? Industrial meat and dairy.

The most widely cited official estimate holds that the food system is responsible for up to 30 per cent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some of these emissions are due to the growth of packaged and frozen foods, the increased distance foods are shipped and the rise in food waste. But the most important source of food system-related GHG emissions is the escalation of meat and dairy consumption—made possible by the expansion of industrial livestock and chemical-intensive feed crops. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says meat production alone now generates more GHG emissions than all the world’s transport combined.

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Comic book: Together we can cool the planet!

La Vía Campesina, GRAIN | 12 December 2016 | Other publications, Climate

Based on the video Together we can cool the planet! co-produced by La Vía Campesina and GRAIN in 2015, we have created a comic book to support training activities of social movements and civil society organisations around climate change. This comic book looks at how the industrial food system impacts our climate and also explains what we can do to change course and start cooling the planet.

We say loud and clear: it is peasants and small farmers, along with consumers who choose agroecological products from local markets, who hold the solution to the climate crisis. We must all rise to the challenge!

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