Incidence rates of kidney cancer are thought to be highest in places situated at high latitudes and in populations with high intake of energy from animal sources. This suggests that low 25-hydroxyvitamin D status, due to lower levels of UVB irradiance, and energy from animal sources might be involved in etiology. The association of latitude with age-adjusted incidence rates was determined for all 175 countries in a UN cancer database, GLOBOCAN. The independent association of UVB irradiance, cloud cover and intake of calories from animal sources with age-adjusted incidence rates was assessed using multiple regression in 139 countries that provided dietary data. Renal cancer incidence rates were highest in countries situated at the highest latitudes, in men (R(2) = 0.64, p < 0.01) and women (R(2) = 0.63, p < 0.01). According to multivariate analysis in men, UVB irradiance was inversely associated with renal cancer incidence rates (p = 0.0003), while cloud cover (p = 0.003) and intake of calories from animal sources (p < 0.0001) were independently positively associated (R(2) for model = 0.73, p < 0.0001). In women, UVB irradiance was inversely associated with incidence rates (p = 0.04), while total cloud cover (p = 0.0008) and calories from animal sources (p < 0.0001) were positively associated (R(2) = 0.68, p < 0.0001). Lower levels of UVB irradiance and higher intakes of calories from animal sources were independently associated with higher incidence rates of kidney cancer.