27th March 2023

Animal Agriculture Contributes 37.5% of Ireland’s total GHG emissions, 70% of which is attributable to animal agriculture.

As part of our Spring campaign, are rerunning our GHG Emissions ad to remind people in Ireland of the astounding rate of emissions from animal agriculture in this country. Agriculture is the single largest contributor to the overall emissions, at 37.5%. Transport, energy industries, and the residential sector are the next largest contributors, at 17.7%, 16.7% and 11.4%, respectively (https://www.epa.ie/…/climate…/ghg/latest-emissions-data/). The agriculture sector is responsible for the largest sectoral contribution to the total emissions. Within that, enteric fermentation and manure management from animal farming account for over 70% of the agriculture emissions. (https://www.epa.ie/publications/monitoring–assessment/climate-change/air-emissions/irelands-provisional-greenhouse-gas-emissions-1990-2021.php/?fbclid=IwAR25JrL0rNtSAGz1xvIMZiL74j4afPwNZfl3wXnS_Ub9f5GttL-tamL-MCA).

We remind readers that these figures, while very high, are not confined to Irish emissions. In fact, they reflect global statistics. The latest United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data finds that 31 per cent of human-caused GHG emissions, originate from the world’s agri-food systems (https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/11/1105172), with animal agriculture emitting significantly more GHGs, and causing more environmental destruction, than growing plants for human consumption.

As yet another IPCC report has been published, with very little furore, despite issuing a final warning for us to act now to reduce emissions or face the consequences of reaching the tipping point, most of us are living our lives without making significant changes. Governments are wasting time arguing about which sectors to target, while we race towards disaster.

The actions promoted by our government, and by a lot of climate change and environment bodies, are the actions that members of the public believe will have the most impact. But the actions being promoted, such as reducing the temperature of the heat in our homes and workplaces, having shorter showers, using public transport or electric vehicles, and changing our energy use from oil and gas to renewable energy, while necessary and laudable, are more difficult in terms of cost and effort. They also have less impact than if we changed how we eat and transitioned to a plant only diet. Even if we made all the other required changes to how we live, without transitioning to plant based production and ending animal agriculture, it is unlikely that we will evade disaster.

Go Vegan World is showcasing the Irish statistics, not to discredit farmers, but to remind members of the public of the consequences of creating a demand for animal products and to illustrate how veganism is a solution that we ignore at our peril. Our ads can be seen on billboards throughout Ireland.