On 10th January 2024, the city of Exmouth, in the west of England, became the fifth UK council to endorse the Plant Based Treaty. Edinburgh, Norwich, Lambeth and Haywards Heath are the other four.
Exmouth Town Council 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.”
Louise Venables, Exmouth resident and Town Councillor said, “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.”
Modelled on the popular Fossil Fuel Treaty, the Plant Based Treaty aims to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems caused by animal agriculture; to promote a shift to healthier, sustainable plant-based diets; and to actively reverse damage done to planetary functions, ecosystem services and biodiversity.