Norwich urges UK government to fight climate crisis by supporting Plant Based Treaty

Author: Liam Gilliver

Read Time:   |  22nd March 2023

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Norwich has become the third UK city to back the Plant Based Treaty - and is now calling on the government to take action


The UK government is under pressure to fight the climate crisis by supporting the global Plant Based Treaty.

Norwich recently became the third UK city to back the initiative, joining 20 towns and cities worldwide including Edinburgh and Haywards Heath.

The motion, introduced by Councillor Alex Catt, cites how producing a kilo of beef creates around 12 times more CO2 than a kilo of soya-based protein like tofu.

Similarly, it points out how dairy production uses at least four times as much as in comparison to plant milk.

‘Global deforestation’

“We can’t sit back and ignore the huge part that food systems play and the urgent need for institutional changes to eliminate the substantial contribution that food production plays in climate change and global deforestation…” Catt said during a council meeting.

Agriculture, forestry and land use contribute a much higher percentage of global emissions than all of transport combined.

“Transport may be a sector that receives a lot of attention… But, the food we eat is actually the secret emitter in all of this and we are running out of time to take action.”


Norwich City Council goes green

Amended by Labour Councillor Oliver, the motion included measures to ‘improve accessibility and availability of plant-based food across the city’.

This includes ensuring all food and beverages provided and any event hosted by the council features vegan options.

The council says it will now write to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs supporting the UK’s endorsement of the Plant Based Treaty as a companion to the Paris Agreement.

It will also request a carbon impact assessment of meat and dairy industries across the county; probing what steps are being taken to reduce this in line with the 2030 net zero target.

What is the Plant Based Treaty?

The treaty is modeled on the Fossil Fuel Treaty and aims to stop the ‘widespread degradation of critical ecosystems’ caused by animal agriculture – while promoting more sustainable plant-based diets.

Since its launch in 2021, the initiative has received support from 75,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, more than 1000 NGOs and community groups and 1,000 businesses.

It has also been endorsed by a slew of celebs including Vampire Diaries star Paul Wesley.

Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney have also backed the initiative and wrote a statement calling on politicians to adopt the treaty.

They said: “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.”

Want to join the fight against climate change? Reduce your food carbon footprint with this vegan meal plan

Featured image: Alexey Fedoren via Getty Images

Written by

Liam Gilliver

Liam is a journalist working for the Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! Magazine. He's also the author of We're Worried About Him and has been published in the likes of The Independent, Huffington Post, and Attitude Magazine.

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