Following a debate on March 14, Norwich City Council has become the third local council in the UK to call on the government to support a global plant-based treaty.
The motion was brought by Councillor Alex Catt, and seconded by Councillor Jamie Osborn (both of the Green Party). It includes measures to improve the accessibility and availability of plant-based food across the city, such as ensuring that animal-free options are available at council-run events and venues.
The council will also write to Norfolk County Council, requesting a carbon impact assessment of local meat and dairy industries and asking what steps are being taken to reduce this in line with the target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
“Producing a kilo of beef creates, on average, 12 times more CO2 than a kilo of tofu or other soya-based proteins,” says the motion. “Meanwhile, producing a litre of dairy milk uses, on average, at least four times as much land as producing a litre of plant milk… As well as a smaller carbon footprint, eating more plant-based foods also reduces the land footprint of our diets and would improve UK food security and self-sufficiency, thereby making our diets more local.”
The other UK councils to have endorsed a plant-based treaty are Edinburgh and Haywards Heath; worldwide, 20 cities — including Los Angeles — have joined. The campaign has been supported by well-known figures such as recording artist and vegan activist Moby.
“It is promising to see the council commit to providing increased accessibility to plant-based foods through council-run cafes, kiosks, leisure centres and community gardens,” said Nicola Harris, Plant Based Treaty communications director. “Institutions have a key role in shifting the nation towards climate-friendly plant-based diets. Momentum for plant-based food solutions to the climate emergency is growing, with Norwich becoming the third council to call on the UK government to endorse the Plant Based Treaty.”