Climate campaigners plan to rally at vote to urge Glastonbury Town Council support for plant-based diets

By Emma Dance

7th Oct 2022 | Local News

Local residents Georgie Miller and Annette Egan who have been campaignig for a Plant Based Treaty in Glastonbury
Local residents Georgie Miller and Annette Egan who have been campaignig for a Plant Based Treaty in Glastonbury

Climate campaigners calling for a Plant Based Treaty will hold a rally in Glastonbury on Tuesday (October 11) to urge councillors to vote in favour of endorsing a Plant Based Treaty motion during the full council meeting.

The rally will take place at the Town Hall at 5.30pm, and the meeting will take place at 7pm.

The Plant Based Treaty is modelled on the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and inspired by treaties that have addressed threats such as ozone layer depletion. Since its launch in August 2021 the initiative has received support from 43,000 individual endorsers, 95 UK councillors5 Nobel laureatesIPCC scientists, more than 800 NGOs and community groups and 700 businesses, including Ecotricity, Linda McCartney Foods, Oceanic Preservation Society, Environmental Alliance Project, VIVA!, BOSH!, Animal Rebellion, and chapters of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion.

The global movement asking towns and cities to endorse the Plant Based Treaty to help pressure national governments to negotiate a global treaty that will:

1. Halt the global expansion of deforestation attributed to animal agriculture.

2. Incentivise a plant-based food system.

3. Encourage public information campaigns about the benefits of plant-based foods.

4. Free up land to rewild and reforest the Earth.

5. Allow a just transition to more sustainable jobs, healthier people and a healthier planet.

Haywards Heath Town Council became the first UK Council to endorse the Plant Based Treaty earlier this year, on July 21. Since its launch at COP26 last year 18 towns and cities around the world have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty.

The planned vote is welcomed by Cllr Dr Richard Nicholson from Haywards Heath Town Council who says: "The science is clear – planet Earth's bio-sphere – our life support system – is under severe stress and starting to fail. Extreme weather events are no longer hypothetical but upon us with increasing frequency. As our governments and global business refuse to act – it is down to individuals, families, towns and cities to drive the necessary change. I welcome Glastonbury's decision to acknowledge the reality of the situation we face and the courage to step up to the challenge by signing the Plant Based Treaty. It is my sincerest wish that other UK towns and cities will soon follow us."

petition calling Glastonbury to endorse the Plant Based Treaty has attracted almost 6,000 signatures.

Plant Based Treaty campaigner Josephine Robinson who plans to deliver a speech at the council meeting says: "I urge Glastonbury Council to endorse the Plant Based Treaty and strengthen Glastonbury's Environmental Charter. Promoting the benefits of healthy sustainable plant-based food can play a key role in reducing the town's consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions and help us become carbon neutral by 2030." 

Matt Sparrey from Pyramid Vegan Cafe located at 15A High Street, Glastonbury said, "We urge Glastonbury Town Council to take action on plant-based solutions to the climate crisis and endorsing the Plant Based Treaty would be an important first step."

More than 200 councillors from almost 60 towns and cities have individually signed the Plant Based Treaty from parties including Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens. 

A spokesman for the Plant Based Treaty said: "When a council votes to endorse the Plant Based Treaty, it has been carefully considered and debated. It is our hope that plant-based solutions will be incorporated into updated climate action plans and that the council will help educate residents about plant-based diets.

"Endorsing the Plant Based Treaty helps focus councillors and climate committees on the importance of food emissions. Often climate action plans report on production-based rather than consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions which leads to underreporting of our food emissions. For example, we aren't counting the emissions from deforestation in the Amazon when forests are cleared to grow soya to feed chickens in UK farms. The worry is that we will reach Net Zero on paper but not in practice because we have over-looked plant-based solutions, and this would be a disaster for the planet. This is why Plant Based Treaty is helping ensure councils up and down the country are made aware of the environmental impact and meat, dairy and eggs and the benefit of shifting towards a plant-based food system for both planetary and personal health."

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