The Plant Based Treaty, which aims to combat the climate issue by reducing emissions from animal production and associated deforestation, has received the first European town endorsement from a UK town.
Along with 17 other local governments from around the world, including Boynton Beach in Florida and Rosario in Argentina, Haywards Heath Town Council has endorsed the treaty.
Haywards Heath Town Council is introducing a new Education and Business Environmental Awards Scheme, using the Plant Based Treaty and food waste reduction as its cornerstones.
Local elected officials want to ‘engage local community, environmental groups, and Parish councils to help progress these ground-up activities’.
The council states that although it is ‘unable to build large solar farms or wind turbines,’ it can inform and encourage the community to cut back on food waste and switch to plant-based diets, which are efficient as a wide-scale transition to green energy.
According to the Treaty, switching more people to plant-based diets can boost biodiversity worldwide, enhance local communities’ health, and lower weekly food costs.
No time to wait
Green Councillor Dr. Richard Nicholson, who initially proposed the Plant Based Treaty to the Climate Change Committee, said in a statement that the “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.”
“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,” said Nicola Harris, communications director of Plant Based Treat.
“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.”
To create a “national council-led movement calling for a shift towards healthier, more sustainable plant-based diets,” climate activists are now urging other communities to join Haywards Heath.
An online petition urging Glastonbury to support the Plant Based Treaty has received close to 5,000 signatures.
The Plant Based Treaty has been signed by 100 council members representing the Conservatives, Green Party, Labor, and Liberal Democrats in nearly 60 towns and cities.
The UK should be a “world leader in recognizing the negative impact of industrial animal agriculture on climate change and commit to developing a global strategy to transition towards more sustainable plant-based food systems.” according to Early Day Motion 434, which has the support of 20 MPs.
Celebrities that identify as vegan, such as Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney, have also endorsed the treaty.
“We believe in justice for animals, the environment and people. That’s why we support the Plant Based Treaty and urge individuals and governments to sign it,” the trio stated.
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