2023 Press Releases


Plant Based Treaty urges UN climate conference to end plant-milk surcharge

Media Contacts & Interview Requests:

  • Bonn:
    Tim Werner, Plant Based Treaty scientific advisor: [email protected], +49 163 2011174
    Nilgün Engin, Plant Based Treaty Turkey campaigner: [email protected], +90 532 437 51 33
    Milla Widmer: Plant Based Treaty Germany campaigner: [email protected]
  • UK & Global:
    Nicola Harris, Plant Based Treaty communications director: [email protected], +44 7597514343
Media Assets
Take Action

June 14, 2023: Environmentalists from Plant Based Treaty are calling on the UNFCCC and World Conference Center to end a controversial €0.50 surcharge on oat and soy milk at coffee booths at the Bonn Climate Conference.

Climate and animal justice campaigner Milla Widmer from Plant Based Treaty took to Instagram to express her shock at the charge, “I am at the @unitednations climate conference in #Bonn and guess what: had to pay 50 cents extra for oat milk! When I complained about it, the employees made fun of me, not really understanding why I was so upset.”

Plant-based milks have a significantly smaller carbon footprint than dairy milk, according to a groundbreaking 2018 study from the University of Oxford, and uses significantly less water and land than dairy.

Tim Werner, Plant Based Treaty scientific advisor, says, “Climate conferences should not provide financial incentives for delegates to consume dairy, which is fueling the climate crisis, deforestation and draining freshwater supplies. The UN must end the plant-based tax; if there are going to be surcharges, they should be applied on products containing polluting meat and dairy, or better yet, make climate conferences vegan.”

Nilgün Engin, Plant Based Treaty campaigner, says, “Plant-based milk surcharges fuel unfairness and inequality because lactose intolerance is more prevalent among people of color. Plant-based milks, which are better for the planet, should be accessible to all.” 

Plant Based Treaty, who have achieved UN observer status held a press conference yesterday on 13 June, 2023 at the Bonn Conference calling for a global treaty to address the impact of food systems on Earth’s vital support systems and a shift to a plant-based food system. 

At the weekend, a new petition was launched calling for climate conferences, including the upcoming COP28 in Dubai to switch to plant-based catering. It has attracted almost 7,000 signatures in the first few days. The petition refers to a 2020 report by Michael Clarke which says “Even if fossil fuel emissions were eliminated immediately, emissions from the global food system alone would make it impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C and difficult even to realize the 2°C target. Thus, major changes in how food is produced are needed if we want to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Please visit our press center for our latest updates from the Bonn Climate Conference: https://plantbasedtreaty.org/press-centre/ 


The Plant Based Treaty has 3Rs and 39 detailed proposals calling for a global transition to a plant-based food system and calls for negotiation of a global treaty and local implementation at the municipal level, schools, universities, hospitals, businesses and other local institutions. 

The Plant Based Treaty is modeled on the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and is inspired by treaties that have addressed the threats of ozone layer depletion and nuclear weapons. Since its launch in August 2021, the initiative has been endorsed by 21 cities, including the Scottish Capital, Edinburgh, Los Angeles and Ahmedabad and received support from 100,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, Sir Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, more than 3000 NGOs, community groups and businesses, including Oceanic Preservation Society and chapters of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion.