LA adopts Plant-Based Treaty to fight climate change

By: Szöllősi Réka Date: 2022. 10. 27. 14:39

With climate change threatening major changes that will affect food production, activists are promoting the Plant-Based Treaty as a means of reducing consumption of animal products. Of course, convincing people to change their eating habits is a years-long – if not generations-long – process.

(Photo: Pixabay)

Nearly two dozen cities around the world have endorsed the treaty, with Los Angeles to do so in mid-October. Buenos Aires heads a list of cities internationally that have adopted the treaty, stretching to the United Kingdom, India and Turkey.

L.A. is historically known to lead the nation in environmental trends. About 1.6 million people in the U.S. say they follow a vegan diet, about 0.5% of the population. Expanding that to vegetarians, the number is about 3 million, or 1% of the population.

The Plant-Based Treaty notes on its website that global temperatures already have risen more than 1 degree Centigrade, and the last five years have been the warmest on record. A study in Nature Climate found 80% of the world’s population already is being affected.

„Just like the Paris Agreement, the Plant-Based Treaty recognizes that no one single country can tackle the ecological impact of animal agriculture by itself. A global solution to a global emergency is essential to avert a climate catastrophe,” the organization says on its website.

It adds: “Adopting a vegan diet is the single biggest action a person can take for the planet and the IPCC agrees that a shift toward plant-based diets can significantly reduce food related greenhouse gas emissions. An Oxford University study calculated that large changes in the food system would be necessary, that is, everyone adopting a plant-based diet on a global scale, to reduce food emissions as much as 70%.” L.A. Councilmember said in a statement that the treaty “marks a vital cultural shift as Americans prioritize both combating climate change and improving their health.”

But it’s that cultural shift that is the most difficult hurdle facing implementation. Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head, told The Food Institute she thinks getting people to adopt a plant-based diet is possible, but the focus needs to be on the abundance of plants rather than the perceived deprivation of meat.

“It is unrealistic to think these shifts will happen suddenly. But with patience and persistence, it is possible,” Meyers said.



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