Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, has become the first city on the island of Ireland to endorse the Plant Based Treaty. Paul Doherty, West Belfast councillor and Foodstock founder, introduced a motion which was unanimously passed on 28th March 2024 recognising the need to move away from the damaging animal agriculture system that causes so much harm and death to billions of animals and is damaging the environment.

The motion reads, “Belfast City Council endorses the Plant Based Treaty. Recognises the need to put food systems at the heart of combating the climate crisis and encourages a shift to healthier and sustainable plant-based diets, while simultaneously working to reverse the damage to ecosystems and biodiversity. Agrees to write to the NI Assembly and call for a further endorsement of the Plant Based Treaty and for a greater commitment to further transitioning towards more sustainable plant-based food systems.”

Councillor Doherty said, “We have made real progress with Belfast becoming a Right To Food city and securing funding for breakfast clubs and other initiatives, and I believe adopting the Plant Based Treaty is an important next step.”

Andrew Garner, Plant Based Treaty cities campaigner, said, “As the capital of Northern Ireland, and the third European capital to endorse Plant Based Treaty this is a significant milestone in putting food emissions front and centre of climate action planning. It is time for more cities, along with their institutions and businesses, to address food impacts on the climate crisis and food security by developing plant-based food strategies and public education to help communities increase consumption of plant-based food.”

The Plant Based Treaty is modelled on the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and since its launch in August 2021, the initiative has received support from 150,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, and more than 3000 groups and businesses.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.