Plant Based Treaty

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Plant Based Treaty

As a companion to the UNFCCC/Paris Agreement, The Plant Based Treaty initiative is a grassroots campaign designed to put food systems at the forefront of combating the climate crisis.

Modeled on the popular Fossil Fuel Treaty, the Plant Based Treaty aims to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems caused by animal agriculture and to promote a shift to healthier, sustainable plant-based diets. We are urging scientists, individuals, groups, businesses and cities to endorse this call to action and put pressure on national governments to negotiate an international Plant Based Treaty.

The Plant Based Treaty have official UN Observer Status and are nominated for the 2024 Earth Shot Prize. The initiative is inspired by treaties that have addressed the threats of ozone layer depletion and nuclear weapons and has been endorsed by 22 cities, including Edinburgh, Los Angeles and Didim, Turkey and has attracted support from 120,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, and more than 3000 groups and businesses, including the 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.”

The Treaty

Demand 1:  Relinquish

Stop the problem increasing. No land use change, including deforestation, for animal agriculture

  • No building of new animal farms
  • No building of new slaughterhouses
  • No expansion or intensification of existing farms
  • No conversion of plant-based agriculture to animal agriculture
  • No conversion of any land for animal feed production
  • No clearing of forests or other ecosystems for animal grazing, animal rearing or animal farming of any kind
  • No new fish farms or expansion of existing aquaculture farms
  • Protection of Indigenous peoples; their land, rights and knowledge
  • Ban all live exports
  • No new large-scale industrial fishing vessels

Demand 2: Redirect

Eliminate the driving forces behind the problem.

Promotion of plant-based foods and actively transition away from animal-based food systems to plant-based systems
  • Declare a climate emergency – join the 1,900+ local governments in 34 different countries that have already done so
  • Food security should be placed as a priority for all nations, with a focus on ending poverty and hunger and making nutritious food accessible for all
  • Acknowledge and support the pivotal role small farmers have in feeding the planet; support them to maintain (or restore) autonomy over their lands, water, seeds and other resources
  • Prioritize a switch to plant-based foods in Climate Action Plans
  • Update government food and dietary guidelines to promote wholefood, plant-based food
  • 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
  • Transition to plant-based meal plans in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and government institutions
  • Mandate honest labelling of food products, including cancer warning labels on all processed meats which have been declared carcinogenic by the World Health Organization
  • Introduce a meat tax (including fish) with proceeds funding restoration of land destroyed by animal agriculture
  • Subsidize fruits and vegetables to make a wholefoods, plant-based diet more affordable and end food deserts that hurt low income communities
  • Redirect government subsidies for animal agriculture, slaughterhouses and industrial fishing to environmentally-friendly production of plant-based food
  • End government subsidized advertising for the meat, dairy and egg industry
  • Create green bonds to fund a transition to a plant-based economy
  • Provide financial support and training for farmers, ranchers and fisherpeople to move away from animal production to diversified (ideally organic agroecological) plant-based systems

Demand 3: Restore

Actively healing the problem while building resilience and mitigating climate change.

Restore key ecosystems and reforest the earth

  • Reforestation projects to be rolled out in appropriate ecosystems using native tree species to restore habitats to a previously similar state
  • Reforestation and restoration of the oceans is prioritised by designating additional areas of the oceans as zero fishing Marine Protected Areas (known as Highly Protected Marine Areas – HPMAs)
  • All existing Marine Protected Areas should be declared strictly no fishing zones and converted to HPMAs
  • Active programs rolled out to replant critical carbon absorbers in the oceans, such as seagrass beds
  • Restore key degraded ecosystems which are essential for carbon sequestration cycles: mangroves, peat bogs, forests, some types of grassland
  • Focus shift on nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Subsidies made available for farmers and landowners who practise good land stewardship and are actively restoring the land and the associated ecosystem services (such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity, flood defence, general climate change resilience)
  • Subsidies made available for rewilding and reforestation projects
  • Incentivised subsidies / grants for farmers to switch from animal agriculture to diversified plant production
  • Cities: increase trees and wildflowers, increase green community projects, wildlife corridors, green rooftops, local growing schemes, work towards biodiversity increases
  • Enhance food justice by providing access to healthy food for all, especially low-income communities of color
  • Repurpose available land freed up from animal grazing and animal feed production for: rewilding, reforestation (if appropriate), returning land to Indigenous people, nature reserves, hiking zones, community growing, allotments (if appropriate), agroecological food growing (where possible)
  • Shift of some land ownership into community hands so the land can be repurposed for reforestation, green space and community food gardens and allotments

Associated Authors
Anita Krajnc 242579983 10157906231741326 1796514893401230463 n.jpg
Anita Krajnc is executive director of the Animal Save Movement and global coordinator of the Plant Based Treaty initiative.

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