The town of Haywards Heath, in the English county of West Sussex, today becomes the first town in Europe to join the Plant Based Treaty initiative, following 17 municipal governments worldwide, including Boynton Beach in Florida and Rosario in Argentina.
Haywards Heath Town Council is launching an Education and Business Environmental Awards Scheme, with the Plant Based Treaty and food waste reduction as cornerstones of these initiatives.
Calls for Glastonbury to follow suit
Climate campaigners are calling on other towns and cities to follow Haywards Heath’s lead, and a petition calling Glastonbury to endorse the Plant Based Treaty has attracted almost 5,000 signatures. 100 councillors from almost 60 towns and cities have individually signed the Plant Based Treaty from parties including Conservatives, Green Party, Labour, and Liberal Democrats.
The Plant Based Treaty is a grassroots campaign working to reduce emissions from animal farming and attributed deforestation, backed by a list of celebrities including Paul McCartney, Moby, and Joaquin Phoenix amongst many others.
Since its launch in August 2021, the initiative has received support from 43,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, more than 800 NGOs and community groups and 700 businesses, including Ecotricity, Linda McCartney Foods, Oceanic Preservation Society, Environmental Alliance Project, VIVA!, BOSH!, Animal Rebellion, and chapters of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion.
“Climate crisis no longer a distant future threat”
Green Councillor Dr Richard Nicholson, who first presented the Plant Based Treaty to the Climate Change Committee, said, “The Climate Crisis is no longer a distant future threat but an existential crisis that is upon us in 2022. The South East of England has endured the highest ever summer temperatures in history and people’s properties have been destroyed by fire and flood. We cannot wait for governments – we must all act immediately – and moving to a plant-based diet is the most impactful thing any individual can do to help address the grave situation we face. I’d encourage all Town, District, County and Metro councils to sign the Plant Based Treaty immediately.”
Nicola Harris, communications director at Plant Based Treaty, said, “Haywards Heath’s decision to call for urgent global action on plant-based solutions to the climate crisis demonstrates true leadership. It will be welcomed by those experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change.
“Record-breaking 40C+ temperatures this summer are a bleak reminder that cuts to emissions from fossil fuels and animal agriculture can’t come soon enough. Animal farming is directly responsible for a third of human-caused methane. Therefore we need local, national and international cooperation to reduce food-related emissions through a shift to plant-based diets, boosted by action on food waste.”