The future is sustainable

The year 2020 has been remarkable for many things, but one of these that is of great hope in the idea that China could become carbon neutral by 2060, and is to begin cutting emissions withing the next ten years (via www.nature.com). The pledge was made by president Xi Jinping at a United Nations assembly back in September, and is the country’s first long-term climate goal.

With the combined news that the US will rejoin the Paris Climate Change Accord once president Joseph Biden takes office, this offers a positive outlook for the world, where major carbon producers have spent the last four years looking at their navels and shouting, while poor Greta Thunberg attempted to make them sit up and take notice.

Leaders from 75 countries met virtually in early December for the Climate Ambition Summit, co-hosted by France, the UK and the UN, and the US was noticeably absent from these proceedings. As a major source of greenhouse gases, not having the US on board is an issue that has now been rectified, and Biden has promised that the US will aim to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

So, a bit of a race to the top has begun, between China and the US. This is good, and the dairy industry welcomes them both to the work to be done. Under the Dairy Sustainability Framework, the global dairy industry has been busy offering a framework for a holistic approach to sustainability in the dairy value chain.

It is currently working on its 2020-2025 strategic action plan, and four new countries have joined it – Kenya, Rwanda, Vietnam and India. As dairy farmers and processors know all too well, pressure on global resources needs to be alleviated, and a common approach to solving sustainability challenges through sharing best practices. Dairy is one of the key agricultural industries, no matter where you are on the planet. We know more than most, that the more hands to the pump on the issue of carbon emissions is a better idea.

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