Los Angeles is First Major U.S. City to Sign This Climate Treaty
About 85 percent of the world's population is experiencing the damaging effects of climate change, and the United Nations has made it clear that governments need to enact policies to effectively slow down environmental disasters. One solution is plant-based eating, and this week, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to adopt the Plant-Based Treaty –– a pledge expanding on the Paris Agreement to mitigate the climate crisis through innovative and sustainable food systems.
LA Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Marqueece Harris-Dawson introduced the Plant-Based Treaty resolution on September 6, and now, the entire city council has stepped up to support the sustainable bill. The resolution will be officially adopted when (and if) Mayor Eric Garcetti concurs to the vote, making Los Angeles the largest city in the world to uphold the Plant Based Treaty.
“This landmark resolution marks a vital cultural shift as Americans prioritize both combating climate change and improving their health,” Koretz said in a statement. “As over 2,200 municipalities did with climate emergency declarations, I invite other cities to join us and endorse the Plant Based Treaty.”
Currently, 20 cities have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty. Some recent endorsements have come from Gandhinagar, India; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Haywards Heath, United Kingdom; and Didem, Turkey, among others.
“LA is historically known to lead the nation in environmental trends,” Jane Velez-Mitchell, UnChainedTV founder and veteran journalist, said in a statement. “What happens in LA spreads to the rest of the world.”
Fighting Climate Change With the Plant Based Treaty
By adopting the Plant Based Treaty, Los Angeles will set a sustainable precedent for major cities worldwide. The sustainable resolution upholds three principles that include Relinquish (abolish animal agriculture), Redirect (adopt plant-based food systems), and Restore (reforest and rewild destroyed lands).
“Earth’s clock is at 100 seconds to midnight,” René Rowland, chair of animal protection group PawPAC, said in a statement. “The impacts of climate change are upon us, and we are already experiencing its devastating effects. The importance of every locality joining to reverse this crisis cannot be stressed enough.”
Los Angeles is also positioned strategically to curb harmful animal agriculture practices in the state of California. Currently, California hosts 1,400 dairy farms, contributing a significant percentage to America's greenhouse gas emissions. UN researchers claim that the world must cut methane emissions by 33 percent by 2030, putting the responsibility on the meat and dairy industries. Nearly 40 percent of global methane emissions can be attributed to cattle production.
“The IPCC consistently shows the vegan diet to be the optimal diet to fight the climate and methane emergencies,” Anita Krajnc, co-founder of the Plant Based Treaty and activist, said in a statement. “Cities play a crucial role in our bottom-up campaign to urge national governments to negotiate a global Plant Based Treaty.”
Plant Based Treaty Promoted Internationally
This announcement occurs closely before the C40 World Mayors Summit –– an event hosting the mayors of the world's largest cities in Buenos Aires from October 19 to 21. The mayors gather to discuss how to improve city infrastructure, and more specifically, to introduce sustainable, climate crisis-fighting strategies.
“With the renewable energy transition now underway in most major cities, reducing overreliance on animal-sourced food is the next frontier in tackling climate change,” Allie Molinaro, Campaigns Manager at Compassion in World Farming, said in a statement. “If C40 leaders are serious about upholding the Paris Agreement, they must turn their attention toward transitioning to a plant-based food system.”
This year, the 100 attending mayors received open letters signed by 200 groups including Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society Internation, Pro Veg International, and the Plant Based Treaty that detailed plant-based solutions to fight the climate crisis. The conglomerate requested that the C40 attendees implement the Good Food Cities Declaration, which includes a commitment to sustainability, plant-based food solutions, and the Plant Based Treaty as a whole.
“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,” Krajnc said.
This September, UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized how dire the climate crisis has become, pointing to the record-breaking monsoon rains that ravaged Pakistan. Guterres warned that a climate "disaster" is oncoming if governments do not adopt sustainable policies.
To learn more about the Plant Based Treaty, check out how the agreement expands on the Paris Agreement.