Activists around the world are today calling on governments to put food systems at the forefront of tackling the climate crisis. The campaign, ‘Plant-Based Treaty,’ will create bottom-up pressure for leaders to negotiate a global agreement to halt the impact of animal agriculture on the planet.
International recording artist and vegan activist Moby commented, “As the production of meat and dairy is a leading cause of the climate emergency, it’s clear that we cannot solve the climate crisis without going plant-based. Change is imperative, and I endorse the Plant-Based Treaty, for the animals, the planet and human health.”
Modelled on the popular Fossil Fuel Treaty, the Plant-Based Treaty aims to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems caused by animal agriculture and to promote a shift to healthier, sustainable, plant-based diets. “We are urging scientists, individuals, groups, businesses, and cities to endorse this call to action and put pressure on national governments to negotiate an international Plant-Based Treaty,” says the organisation’s press release.
Actions are taking place outside nearly 100 town and city halls worldwide including Manchester, Bristol, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Rome, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Toronto, Seoul, Mumbai and Ankara to encourage leaders to sign the Treaty. Leveraging this grassroots support, the campaign will work towards 10 million individuals, 10,000 organisations, 10,000 businesses and 50 cities to endorse the treaty by 2023, ahead of the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST).
The Treaty urges leaders to negotiate a global agreement around the following three principles:
- RELINQUISH – No land use change, ecosystem degradation or deforestation for the purposes of animal agriculture
- REDIRECT – An active transition away from animal-based agricultural systems to plant-based food systems
- RESTORE – Restore key ecosystems and reforest the Earth
Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries entered into a pact to limit global warming to below 2°C – and preferably 1.5°C – above pre-industrial levels. While reducing the use of fossil fuels is an important way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, alone it is not enough to meet this legally binding target. The Plant-Based Treaty draws attention to the effects of meat, dairy and egg farming, which are driving carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, three major greenhouse gases. Experts say methane reductions are probably the only way of avoiding temperature rises above 1.5°C, and the biggest opportunity to slow warming between now and 2040.
“With just five years left to reverse the worst effects of climate change, business as usual is no longer an option. It’s time to switch toward a plant based economy”
Anita Krajnc, Global Campaign Coordinator for the Plant-Based Treaty said: “The sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreement makes it clear that it is more critical than ever to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and identifies plant-based diets as a key method of achieving this. With our global temperature set to rise by 3°C unless we take urgent action, it is now imperative that we drive awareness of how our food systems – and animal agriculture in particular – are contributing towards the climate crisis.
“With just five years left to reverse the worst effects of climate change, business as usual is no longer an option. It’s time to switch toward a plant-based economy to reverse the damage we have caused to the environment, and to promote a healthier society.”
Individuals, organisations, businesses and cities can endorse the Treaty by emailing their support to [email protected] or visiting PlantBasedTreaty.org.