Your questions answered

Aren't fossil fuels the problem?

Fossil fuels are a major part of the problem but not the only cause of the climate crisis.

Food accounts for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and even if we ended fossil fuel production today, food emissions alone would take us beyond the 1.5 C target of the Paris Agreement.

Animal agriculture is a main driver of breaches to five planetary boundaries: biodiversity loss, climate change, landuse change, freshwater withdrawals, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. 

We need to tackle food and energy simultaneously if we want to avert the worst impacts of climate change. According to IPCC expert reviewer Peter Carter from the Climate Emergency Institute, we need to do everything and we need to do it now.

To support efforts against fossil fuels, please endorse the Fossil Fuel Treaty.

Why do we need a treaty? Don’t we already have the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is essentially about negotiating how much space is left in the atmosphere for carbon before we hit 1.5 degrees Celsius warming, but does not focus on production. It is silent on the role of plant-based diets and does not have the capacity or tools to halt and reverse its unwavering expansion. It also ignores other planetary boundaries such as biodiversity, land use change, water pollution, soil and ocean acidification, ocean dead zones, deforestation and species extinction which are all major threats to the future of our planet.

Which cities have signed the Plant Based Treaty?

Visit our cities page for an up-to-date list of towns, cities and regions that have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty.

When a city endorses do they have to implement the treaty's 40 demands?

When a city endorses the Plant Based Treaty they are expressing support for national governments around the world to come together and negotiate a global treaty to address food system impacts. 

Endorsing the treaty is not legally binding. Local town, city and state governments may not have the jurisdiction to implement the proposals of the treaty but wish to express support for a global treaty and take action in line with their own priorities and powers. 

If you look at Plant Based Treaty motions passed by councils to date, they include a range of action items such as introducing carbon labelling, promoting plant-based food, training, menu changes and leadership. 

How are you going to enforce a Plant Based Treaty?

The first stage is to build a global coalition. You start with people, groups, business and cities calling for changes, until this pressure builds at the national level. That will lead to global agreements on plant based solutions. Ultimately, enforcement will come at a national level, or through bilateral and trade agreements.

How can I support the movement for a Plant Based Treaty?

Make it yours! The treaty is for everyone. First, sign the treaty and pledge to help collect sign-ups. Then visit our city campaign to lobby your elected officials.

We hold regular Welcome Calls for those who wish to join a campaign in their city, and we have country-specific Whatsapp chats where we can work together to secure a Plant Based Treaty. Email [email protected] to join a Whatsapp chat near you.

Whether you are a student, or employee campaigning for a vegan canteen, a politician voting against animal agricultural subsidies, or an activist standing in front of a bulldozer trying to stop a forest being cleared for animal feed, you can be calling on your government to endorse the Plant Based Treaty. If we unite in our call to action, our voices are louder and have a greater impact.

We also rely on donations to fund our movement, so if you are able to, a small monthly gift can help put power into Plant Based Treaty teams worldwide to campaign for their city to endorse and work on menu changes in their communities. 

Isn’t this treaty too far ahead of its time?

The Plant Based Treaty reflects the urgency we face and will help shape the conversation. Our approach is science based, relying on UN scientific warnings, Breaking Boundaries, and the leaked IPCC report about how we are approaching tipping points faster than previously thought.

We are here to speak the truth about the solutions required this decade to avert the climate crisis; there really is no time to lose.

Why are there so many demands?

The Plant Based Treaty lists 40 detailed proposals and best practices which should be negotiated as part of a global agreement.

In demand one, which calls for not making the problem worse, we have to look at the entire production cycle, whether it’s animal farms, slaughterhouses as well as deforestation for farms and soy and corn based animal feed.

In demand two, promoting plant-based, we have to look at all the educational, economic policy and legislative tools available.

In demand three, regarding restoration, we do need to plant trees to draw the carbon out of the atmosphere, but we also need to restore peatlands and rewild the oceans.

What about 'regenerative' grazing?

The Oxford University Grazed and Confused report shows, cows fed on grass release more greenhouse gas emissions than they are able to offset through soil carbon sequestration. This means that animals reared on grass are net contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and a key driver of the climate crisis.

Lead author of the study, Dr Tara Garnett says rearing grass-fed cows “is in no way a climate solution. Rising animal production and consumption, whatever the farming system and animal type, is causing damaging greenhouse gas release and contributing to changes in land use.”

This report finds that grazing cattle does not offer a significant solution to climate change and carbon could only be sequestered under very specific conditions and even then the carbon sequestered is “small, time-limited, reversible and substantially outweighed by the greenhouse gas emissions these grazing animals generate”.