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ALDF Petitions California to Regulate Greenhouse Emissions from Animal Agriculture
by Animal Legal Defense Fund
Tuesday Oct 21st, 2014 4:19 PM
SAN FRANCISCO — On October 16, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a formal rulemaking petition with the California Air Resources Board to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from animal agriculture, as it does for the energy and transportation sectors. The petition calls on the agency to require factory farms to report greenhouse gas emissions to the Air Resources Board, which will “cap” these emissions. California’s groundbreaking cap-and-trade program stems from the state’s 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act. ALDF’s first-of-its-kind state petition asks the Air Resources Board to include animal agriculture in that program. Numerous studies show animal agriculture is a significant contributor to climate change. California uses more than 25 million acres of land for agriculture and has the largest scale factory-farmed dairy production in the nation. The more than 70 million animals raised for food in California produce as much untreated manure as 456 million people—or more untreated manure than the entire human population of the United States.
According to the Air Resources Board’s own research, “Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data 2000-2012,” U.S. emissions from livestock agriculture—including the meat, egg, and dairy industries—are comparable to all emissions from the manufacturing sector “(23.92 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent produced by animal agriculture, whereas manufacturing produced 24.88 million metric tons). While transportation, industrial, and residential economic sectors decreased their emissions in the past decade, the agriculture sector increased emissions. The recently released assessment report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes a confirmed link between climate change and animal agriculture. The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization link animal agriculture with nearly 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Animal agriculture is systematically responsible for cruelty to millions of animals, pollution of natural resources, and health problems in our state,” said ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Our state agencies should regulate pollution from the animal agriculture industry like they do for cars and trucks.”

ALDF’s petition is available by request.

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