McCartney attended the summit to promote her sustainable fashion work, calling for world leaders to impose a ban on leather and fur and erroneously claiming that 100 million animals are killed for the materials every year.

In response, Cotance President Manuel Rios said: “Academia has unmistakably established that demand for leather has such a marginal influence on livestock breeding and slaughter rate that it can be dismissed as a driver.

“Hides and skins of animals slaughtered for the production of food for human consumption are unavoidable leftovers. There is no cow, sheep or goat that is slaughtered for its skin! As long as people on this planet will be eating meat, there will be hides and skins. So, either you use them, or you lose them (in landfill).

He added that the public should be informed that, if the eight million tonnes of hides and skins recovered by the leather industry every year were not recycled, their decomposition would become a sanitary issue and release some five million tonnes of greenhouse gases.

This amount corresponds to the annual emissions of about 1,087,400 average cars, Cotance says. Rios continued: “People should know this and look at the leather they wear without a sense of guilt. And this figure doesn’t include the carbon emissions that the production of other materials would necessarily generate. This would be the consequence of ending the use of leather. So, promoting its end only leads to generating more pollution. For a waste-buster like you, this is not a nice bottom line…”.

You can read the full statement from Cotance here.