Tag Archives: IPCC

Los Angeles signs plant-based treaty

Major cities all over the world are being encouraged to adopt the Plant-Based Treaty to shift their communities to climate-friendly plant-based diets.  Los Angeles is one of the first cities, and the largest one in the US, to sign the treaty, following a meeting by the LA City Council last month where they unanimously voted to adopt the Plant-Based Treaty. 

This vote was taken prior to the C40 World Mayors Summit, where mayors of the world’s largest cities meet to discuss climate mitigation strategies, which took place in Buenos Aires last month.  It brought together almost 100 mayors from major cities around the world, including London, Hong Kong, and Copenhagen.  They met either in person or virtually.  A group of almost 200 organizations and businesses urged the mayors to shift their communities to climate-friendly diets, and to demonstrate their commitment by signing their city up to the Plant-Based Treaty and the Good Food Cities Declaration. Alongside these commitments, continued alignment with the 19 “best practices” that define the C40 group, including taxing high-emission foods such as meat and making plant-based foods the default option on menus, is expected.

The C40 has already identified that a mainstream switch to a plant-based diet is the most impactful change that cities can make. They’ve noted that lowering meat consumption from 58kg to 16kg per person by 2030 is critical for climate improvement, and that each city must be active in making plant-based foods more accessible to realize the goal.

New York has already begun to do this, by making plant-based food in its hospitals the default option.  Berkeley City Council made history in July when it pledged to remove all animal products from its menus by 2024. Amsterdam is also taking proactive steps, by encouraging its citizens to eat a plant-based diet at least 50 percent of the time by 2030.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also been highlighting the need for a shift away from meat and dairy as a key weapon in the fight against the worsening climate emergency.  “The IPCC consistently shows the vegan diet to be the optimal diet to fight the climate and methane emergencies,” Allie Molinaro, campaigns manager at Compassion in World Farming explained in a statement. 

“C40 cities are considered leaders on local climate action and can accelerate much needed progress by implementing best practices such as serving plant-based food at council events and using every policy tool at their disposal including public information campaigns, procurement, subsidies, investment, divestment, taxation, community gardens, and fruit and vegetable prescription programs.”

While Seattle’s mayor, Bruce Harrell, did attend the C40 conference, and received global recognition for Seattle’s work in funding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, building community resilience and increasing net zero affordable housing, the city has yet to make any commitment regarding plant-based diets.  Don’t get left behind, Seattle!!

Invest in plant-based foods

Cows emit huge quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas

The earth needs you. More and more businesses and multinational organizations are sending us the same message: a plant-based diet is vital and necessary for a sustainable environment. One of the latest is the global management consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which published a report entitled, “Food for Thought: The Untapped Climate Opportunity in Alternative Proteins.”

Investing in plant-based foods can make a big difference. According to BCG’s report, investments in plant-based alternatives result in 11 times more greenhouse gas reductions than those in zero-emission cars. They also come out on top when compared with green cement technology and green building investments. “There’s been a lot of investments into electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, which is all great and helpful to reduce emissions” says BCG’s M. Clausen. He goes on to say, “We have not seen comparable investment yet [in alternative proteins], even though it’s rising rapidly,” he added. “If you really care about impact as an investor, this is an area that you definitely need to understand.”

The good news is that plant-based investments are picking up, and experts expect the market to soar in the coming years. In fact, last year, Bloomberg Intelligence projected that the plant-based food market could hit $162 billion in the next decade. That’s serious money.

Some climate activists have come up with a plan called Appetite for a Plant-Based Treaty which highlights how the United Nations IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has repeatedly demonstrated that a vegan diet is the best diet to drastically reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions. The treaty has so far been endorsed by over 50 groups and prominent individuals. The Plant-Based Treaty has 3 core principles: relinquish the expansion of animal agriculture, redirect policies favoring a plant-based food system, and restore ecosystems and reforest the Earth.

There’s more good news. Environmental organizations are finally beginning to get on  board. For instance, Dr Peter Carter, of the IPCC and Director of the Climate Emergency Institute says, “The science is definite, global climate catastrophe cannot be averted without the elimination of meat and dairy in our diet, and that must happen fast.”

Courtney Vail, Campaign Director at Oceanic Preservation Society, added: “Changing our diets from a focus on animal-based to plant-based products is one of the most powerful things we can do to positively impact the world. Animal agriculture utilizes precious water resources, releases climate-altering greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and reduces the planet’s ability to sequester carbon by destroying diverse ecosystems.”

As investors contribute to the plant-based alternative market, a wider variety of products will become available, making it ever easier for people to shift their diets away from animal based products.  As demand for animal products reduces, fewer animals will need to be raised, thus lowering the greenhouse gas emissions and pollution caused by animal agriculture.  Let’s hope that society can do this soon enough to avoid a climate catastrophe.