Exmouth signs Plant Based Treaty to reduce carbon footprint

Exmouth has become the fifth UK council to endorse the call for a global Plant Based Treaty to address food impacts on the climate emergency, joining climate leaders Edinburgh, Norwich, Lambeth and Haywards Heath.

In a statement issued by Exmouth Town Council, they said, “Exmouth Town Council has declared its commitment to making Exmouth cleaner, greener and healthier by endorsing the call for the Plant Based Treaty. This endorsement was made as part of their Climate Action Plan, which aims to combat the climate crisis and make the town a thriving, zero-carbon community.”

Exmouth aims to reduce carbon footprint

Exmouth resident and Town Councillor, Louise Venables, expressed her pride in the town’s efforts to become a zero-carbon community and the importance of endorsing the Plant Based Treaty at a critical time, “Switching to an increasingly plant-based diet is the simplest and one of the most effective actions we can take to reduce our carbon emissions. Plant-based diets can also improve health, remedy biodiversity, improve animal welfare, and be financially beneficial. We want individuals to be fully informed regarding the impact of diet on the environment and for people to be able to make considered food choices and be supported in transitions to a more plant-focused diet.”

Andrew Garner, Plant Based Treaty UK campaigner, said, “2023 was the world’s hottest year on record, and Exmouth has rightfully recognised the importance of plant-based food solutions and rewilding to address multiple planetary crises. Their climate leadership in calling for a Plant Based Treaty offers hope that we can address food emissions which account for a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Adopting a plant-based diets can cut food emissions, water use and land use by 75% and we need to see more towns and cities joining them to rapidly shift away from our meat and dairy-intensive diets.”

In the Plant Based Treaty motion, which passed at a full council meeting in December, Exmouth committed to a number of plant-based food and rewilding policies:

Promote plant-based foods.

Include campaigns/activities to encourage a switch to plant-based foods in our Climate Action Plan
Design public information campaigns to raise awareness about the climate and the environmental advantages and health benefits of plant-based food, nutrition and cooking
Aim to reduce the public’s consumption of animal-based food through education in schools, organisations and local businesses
Transition to plant-based meal plans when catering for climate-related meetings, events etc.

Help to restore key ecosystems and reforest the earth.

Support reforestation projects and convene a tree forum to provide
transparency and encourage collaboration between stakeholders in Exmouth
Focus shift on nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and
adaptation (in ETC’s consultative planning role)
Cities: support initiatives to increase trees and wildflowers, increase green
community projects, wildlife corridors, green rooftops, local growing schemes, work towards biodiversity increases (in our consultative planning role and in our environment policy)
Enhance food justice by supporting projects that provide access to healthy food for all, especially low-income communities (support projects like Mushroom, a food community network in Exmouth)

Background

The Plant Based Treaty is modelled on the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and inspired by treaties that have addressed the threats of ozone layer depletion and nuclear weapons. It has been endorsed by 24 municipalities worldwide, including Edinburgh, Norwich, Lambeth, Exmouth, Haywards Heath and Los Angeles.

Since its launch in August 2021, the initiative has received support from 130,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, and more than 3000 groups and businesses, including Veganuary, Ecotricity, Linda McCartney Foods, Plant Based Health Professionals, UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, and chapters of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

The Plant Based Treaty has secured high-profile endorsements from celebrities, including Chris Packham and Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, who issued a written statement calling for politicians to support the Plant-Based 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.”

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