UK MPs Endorse Plant Based Treaty & Call for Global Strategy to End Animal Agriculture at COP26
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14 MPs from six parties have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling on the government to roll out a plan to transition to a plant-based economy.
6 October, 2021
As COP 26 draws near, a number of UK politicians have lent their support to EDM 434 which calls on the government to “use COP26 in Glasgow as an opportunity to be a world leader in recognising the negative impact of industrial animal agriculture on climate change and commit to developing a global strategy to transition towards more sustainable plant-based food systems”.
The EDM supports the new Plant Based Treaty initiative launched on 31 August 2021, which calls on national governments to negotiate a landmark international treaty—the first of its kind to put food systems at the heart of combating the climate crisis.
EDM 434 has attracted cross-party support from Labour, Social Democratic & Labour, Liberal Democrats, Democratic Unionist Party, Green Party and the Scottish National Party with 14 signatures since its launch on 15 September 2021.
Emma Lewell-Buck, Labour MP for South Shields and primary sponsor of EDM 434, was the first Member of Parliament to endorse the Plant Based Treaty.
“I’m proud to be the first MP to endorse the Plant Based Treaty and pleased to have brought forward an EDM on this hugely important issue,” said Lewell-Buck. “Whether you’re vegan or not, this EDM is about raising awareness of how the climate crisis is a real threat to humanity and encouraging others to think about how we can all do our bit by making changes to our lifestyles that would help protect our planet for future generations to come. I hope the government uses COP26 as an opportunity to be a world leader on this crucial issue.”
Other supporters of EDM 434 include the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, Labour’s former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Glasgow South West MP Chris Stevens, Christine Jardine Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat, and Liberal Democratic MP for Bath, Wera Hobhouse.
“We cannot allow the planet to heat up above 1.5 Celsius by 2050 and must look how we can achieve net zero by then,” said Hobhouse. “Agriculture and land use are part of the picture. By reducing meat consumption we can use agricultural land a lot more effectively.”
Jardine added: “If we are to combat climate change effectively we have to use every means at our disposal and one of them is encouraging everyone to eat a more plant-based diet. We must ensure that the issue is recognised and discussed at every opportunity to ensure that people are aware not just of its potential significance for the climate but the health implications and best practice.”
Anita Krajnc, global campaign coordinator at Plant Based Treaty, said political support for EDM 434 is crucial to the planet’s survival. “As hosts of COP26, it’s critical that the UK show leadership in addressing the devastating impact of animal agriculture on the climate crisis, and develop a global strategy for a shift towards a plant-based food system,” said Krajnc. “We applaud the 14 UK MPs who are asking for political debate in the UK parliament on the need to quickly switch to sustainable plant-based foods and urge others to support EDM 434.”
The Plant Based Treaty is fast gaining political support with city councillors across the world and the cities of Boynton Beach, Florida and Rosario, Argentina endorsing it. In Bristol City in the UK, seven councillors including Deputy Mayor Andrew Varney have endorsed the treaty, comprising 10% of the council chamber.
Ahead of COP26 preparations, politicians from across the globe are being encouraged to sign on to an open statement created by organisers of the Plant Based Treaty to urge governments to address animal agriculture and its impact on the climate, ocean, biodiversity and animal crisis.
ABOUT THE PLANT BASED TREATY
As a companion to the UNFCCC/Paris Agreement, the Plant Based Treaty is a grassroots initiative calling upon national governments to negotiate a landmark international treaty—the first of its kind to put food systems at the heart of combating the climate crisis.
The Treaty aims to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems caused by animal agriculture, to promote a shift to more healthy, sustainable plant-based diets and to actively reverse damage done to planetary functions, ecosystem services and biodiversity.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
The full text of EDM 434 reads:
“That this House welcomes the Plant Based Treaty aiming to put food systems at the heart of combating the climate crisis by encouraging a shift to healthier and sustainable plant-based diets, while simultaneously working to reverse the damage to ecosystems and biodiversity; and calls on the Government to use COP26 in Glasgow as an opportunity to be a world leader in recognising the negative impact of industrial animal agriculture on climate change and commit to developing a global strategy to transition towards more sustainable plant-based food systems.”
The full list of MPs who have signed EDM 434 are:
Social Democratic & Labour Party
Democratic Unionist Party
Additional member supporters:
Dr Lisa Cameron
Scottish National Party
East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow
Hayes and Harlington
Scottish National Party
Glasgow South West