The Plant Based Treaty
Global campaign launched to combat climate change by overhauling the world’s food systems
Published: 5 September 2021
This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod
Activists around the world have called on governments to put food systems at the forefront of tackling the climate crisis.
Modelled on the popular Fossil Fuel Treaty, the aim of the ‘Plant Based Treaty’ is to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems caused by animal agriculture and to promote a shift to healthier, sustainable, plant-based diets.
The campaign will create bottom-up pressure for leaders to negotiate a global agreement to halt the impact of animal agriculture on the planet.
Actions have taken 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.
‘Change is imperative’
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).
Several high-profile celebrities have given their support to the treaty, including Moby, Leona Lewis and Sophie Aldred.
‘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.’
International recording artist
Relinquish, redirect & restore
The Treaty urges leaders to negotiate a global agreement around three principles: relinquish, redirect and restore.
The principles would entail no land use change, ecosystem degradation or deforestation for the purposes of animal agriculture; an active transition away from animal-based agricultural systems to plant-based food systems and the restoration of key ecosystems and reforestation of the Earth.
‘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.’
Global campaign coordinator for the Plant Based Treaty
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.