This week, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution in support of the global Plant Based Treaty initiative.
Through its three core principles—Relinquish, Redirect, and Restore—the treaty aims to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems by freezing expansion of animal agriculture, promoting a shift to healthy, sustainable, plant-based diets, and the rewilding of natural habitats.
“This landmark resolution marks a vital cultural shift as Americans prioritize both combating climate change and improving their health,” Councilmember Paul Koretz, who introduced the resolution with Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson on September 6th, said in a statement. “As over 2,200 municipalities did with climate emergency declarations, I invite other cities to join us and endorse the Plant Based Treaty.” Councilmembers Koretz and Nithya Raman have also personally endorsed the global Treaty.
The decision was made just ahead of the annual C40 World Mayors Summit, which ends today in Buenos Aires. Los Angeles is the second C40 city to endorse the Plant Based Treaty, following Buenos Aires’ decision to make an endorsement on August 9th.
The Plant Based Treaty is critically needed as a companion to the Paris Agreement to hold governments and the animal agriculture industry accountable for greenhouse gas emissions from food production.
California is home to the country’s largest dairy industry, with 1,400 dairy farms and around 1.7 million cows. According to the California Air Resources Board, which has a methane research program, animal farming is responsible for more than half of California’s methane emissions.
The Plant Based Treaty is designed like the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and inspired by treaties that have addressed the threats of ozone layer depletion and nuclear weapons. The initiative has received support from 19 cities, 59,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, more than 1800 NGOs, community groups and businesses.
The global movement is asking towns and cities to endorse the Plant Based Treaty to help pressure national governments to negotiate a global treaty that will:
Halt the global expansion of deforestation attributed to animal agriculture.
Incentivise a plant-based food system.
Encourage public information campaigns about the benefits of plant-based foods.
Free up land and waters to rewild, reforest, and restore the Earth
Allow a just transition to more sustainable jobs, healthier people, and a thriving planet.