Climate Change Meeting to Unveil Latest Science on Reducing Emissions Rapidly

By World Preservation Foundation, PRNE
Monday, November 1, 2010

Recent Research Suggests Dietary Change may be the Best Option for Preserving Global Food Security and Protecting Nations Vulnerable to Climate Change

LONDON, November 2, 2010 - The World Preservation Foundation is hosting a meeting on Wednesday 3rd
November at the Central Hall in Westminster, bringing together over 20
international climate change, environment and food experts, as well as
members of parliament and civil society to consider recent studies
highlighting fast-acting, cost-effective climate change mitigation

Extreme events over this past summer, particularly in Russia and
Pakistan, have highlighted how vulnerable society and the food supply are at
only 0.8C of global average temperature increases. A recent WWF report
estimates global emissions may be 30 percent higher than levels needed to
keep global average temperature increases to under 2C by 2020.

These events have underscored the concerns of vulnerable, developing
nations, who have called for international climate change agreements to agree
to limit global average temperature increases to no more than 1.5C.

Fortunately, climate science has evolved significantly in the past few
years to offer some solutions, which will be the focus of the conference. The
conference will introduce the concept of shorter-lived climate forcers. These
are greenhouse gases and aerosols, namely methane, ozone and black carbon,
which are much more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat within the
atmosphere. However, they also dissipate out of the atmosphere fairly
quickly, especially compared to CO2 from fossil fuels which has a very long
life in the atmosphere, and is expected to be affecting the environment for
thousands of years.

The latest research on methane indicates it is 100 times more potent than
CO2 over 20 year time periods, and that its half life in the atmosphere is
only 12 years. Although not as potent, tropospheric ozone is the third most
prevalent greenhouse gas after CO2 and methane, and dissipates out of the
atmosphere in about 22 days. Because it can be created with methane as a
building block, reducing methane levels will result in lower ozone levels.

Black carbon, which is now believed to be responsible for nearly half of
warming in the Himalayas and the Arctic, may be over 2000 times more potent
than CO2, but it only lasts a few months. Black carbon has also been
discovered in the most rapidly warming regions of Antarctica. Around 35 to 50
percent of black carbon in Antarctica is linked to slash and burn agriculture
associated with grazing livestock and growing soya fed to livestock in the
Amazon. Although research has not yet been done estimating the relative
warming effect of black carbon in Antarctica, the speed at which the region
is melting and the potential implications for sea level rise and global food
security suggest the importance of reducing the structural causes of the
black carbon.

The conference also focuses on the significant role livestock and dietary
choices play in climate change and environmental destruction. World
Preservation Foundation co-founder Dr. Hsien Hui Khoo states "From the very
beginning, climate change has been linked to carbon dioxide from fossil
fuels. Over the years as our understanding has become more sophisticated, we
have realized that there are other structural causes that have an equal or
greater effect. The livestock industry and dietary choices fit into that
category. It has also been discovered that much of the warming over the next
20 years will be coming from these other non-CO2 climate forcers. Because of
CO2's long life in the atmosphere, we believe our best chance is to places
greater emphasis on reducing methane, ozone and black carbon, especially
through dietary change."

Because livestock account for significant amounts of these shorter-lived
climate forcers, eating more plant-based meals appears to provide the
least-expensive solution for grassroots action against climate change.

"We would also like to see governments supporting such a change," Dr.
Khoo states, "Society depends upon a viable farming industry, and that
depends upon governments taking some actions by switching subsidies to
plant-based foods and promoting plant-based eating on a national level."

Those interested in attending the conference can find more information at, including speakers, locations and
sign up information. Others may participate by watching the event via
streaming media at the World Preservation Foundation website.

FOR PRESS: The Press launch will be held in Houses of Parliament hosted by US broadcaster Lisa Bloom (CBS News) to be held in the Houses of Parliament 12:30 - 14:00. Some last minute spaces are still available so please RSVP with your name and publication to adam.lake at Chris Corr , Public Relations , +44(0)7813-798952,
chris at

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