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COMUNICADOS DE IMPRENSA | 2024

Darebin becomes the first city in Australia to endorse the call for a global Plant Based Treaty to address food emissions

(Darebin – junho 26, 2024) — Darebin council has passed a motion becoming the first Australian council to endorse the Plant Based Treaty. The motion was approved with overwhelming support, receiving eight votes in favour and only one against. Darebin joins a global movement of 30 towns and cities, including Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Edinburgh, in endorsing the Plant Based Treaty. The proposed treaty advocates for a shift towards a plant-based food system that is aligned with the Paris Agreement.

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(Darebin – junho 26, 2024) — Darebin council has passed a motion becoming the first Australian council to endorse the Plant Based Treaty. The motion was approved with overwhelming support, receiving eight votes in favour and only one against. Darebin joins a global movement of 30 towns and cities, including Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Edinburgh, in endorsing the Plant Based Treaty. The proposed treaty advocates for a shift towards a plant-based food system that is aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Darebin Mayor Susanne Newton, who learned about Plant Based Treaty when a local resident sent an email asking her to endorse it, expressed enthusiasm about the Council’s decision: 

“I encourage other Australian councils and our region to consider the Plant Based Treaty. As one of the regions of the world that could suffer some of the worst climate impacts, we should and can be doing all we can to change our habits for the better.

We are one council leading the way at this point, but my hope is that this is a bit like our climate emergency declaration: once one council does it, more and more can consider it until it becomes a social movement that eventually simply becomes our new normal.”

Sheena Chhabra, Plant Based Treaty Australia campaigner, welcomed the endorsement: 

“Darebin is setting a powerful example in promoting plant-based food and recognizing the urgency of adopting a global Plant Based Treaty to agree on a safe and just food system. Now is the perfect time for individuals to sign the Plant Based Treaty and encourage their councils to endorse it ahead of COP29.”

The endorsement came after a motion passed in agosto 2023, requesting a Plant Based Treaty impact assessment report. The report asked the council to consider:

“1. Council endorsing the Plant Based Treaty, joining 21 municipalities worldwide including the cities of Edinburgh, Los Angeles, and Norwich.

2. An Equity Impact Assessment undertaken to inform the report that considers cultural, spiritual, health and wellbeing and community connections to food.

3. How the goals of the treaty could be implemented within Darebin, including but not limited to:

4. Including a plant-based approach to food and food purchasing in the review of our climate emergency plan

• Using council’s communication channels to promote sustainable and affordable food and drink practices, including details of the climate and health benefits of plant-based food and drinks

• Liaise with local businesses, schools and community groups to promote campaigns such as Meat Free Mondays and Plant Powered Fridays

• Explore potential for increasing plant based food options/ having plant-based only options at council events and meetings

• Partnering with community groups to establish seed distribution hubs in libraries to promote homegrown produce and improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables

• When events occur on council land, ensure that environmentally friendly plant-based options are included and available (i.e., minimum from at fifty per cent of caterers), secured through the use of terms and conditions of hire (where reasonably and appropriately possible)

• Work with community groups across the city to promote the establishment of new and appropriate community gardens and orchards.

5. Advocacy options for the Plant Based Treaty, including writing to the Federal Government, sharing details with the community through Darebin’s communication channels, and circulating the Treaty and Council’s position, to all other Victoria Council’s, the MAV, the VLGA and Darebin’s sister city Hefei in China.”

The council officer’s advice back to Councillors included:

• “Darebin Council has declared a climate emergency and committed to taking action to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Plant Based Treaty (Treaty) could represent public acknowledgment that food production and consumption are key drivers of the climate emergency.”

• “Council has undertaken work that aligns to the principles of the Plant Based Treaty. These programs will be reviewed as part of implementing the proposed Climate Emergency Plan action – to undertake a scoping study of food security and resilience.”

• “Moving away from meat and dairy would avoid the harm these industries have on the Environment.”

• “There is a diversity of views around food choices and preferences, and discussing plant based diets has the potential to be a sensitive subject for our community. Encouraging plant-based diets must be inclusive of diverse cultural and culinary traditions. Many cultures have deeply ingrained culinary practices centred around particular cultural dishes, some of which may contain animal products. Therefore, encouraging plant-based diets should be done sensitively, recognizing and respecting cultural preferences and dietary norms.”

Antecedentes

Plant Based Treaty is calling for a global agreement that aligns the food system to the Paris Agreement, along with the implementation of best practices in plant-based food policy at the city and institutional levels. The proposed treaty has been endorsed by 30 cities, including Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Edinburgh, and has received support from 150,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, and more than 3000 groups and businesses, including The Australian Vegetarian Society (NSW), Animals Australia, Animal Justice Party and chapters of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

At COP28, Plant Based Treaty launched its Safe and Just Report, which assesses the food system’s impact on our planetary and social boundaries and the plant-based solutions required to bring the food system into a safe and just operating space for communities to thrive.

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