Australian MPs call for plant-based climate solutions ahead of COP26 - Nourish: plant-based living
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Australian MPs call for plant-based climate solutions ahead of COP26

As the 2021 climate talks in Glasgow draw near, Australian politicians are calling on the government to heed the global campaign for a Plant Based Treaty, and urgently develop a strategy to transition towards a plant-based economy.

A global campaign is underway urging world leaders to adopt a Plant Based Treaty that would put food systems at the heart of combating the climate crisis. A number of Australian politicians have endorsed the campaign, and now NSW MP Emma Hurst has tabled a motion highlighting its demands, and calling on the Australian Government to act on them.

It’s not too late for a solution

The Hon. Emma Hurst of the Animal Justice Party endorsed the movement for a global Plant Based Treaty as soon as the campaign launched on 31 August, along with fellow MPs, Andy Meddick and Mark Pearson.

“Animal agribusiness is destroying the planet,” Emma warns. “But it’s not too late for a solution. Our planet and all who live on it are in crisis, and that crisis will only get worse unless governments recognise that animal agribusiness is one of the greatest causes of climate change. We cannot wait any longer. The time for action is now.”

Emma Hurst "It's not too late for a solution"

With her notice of motion last week, Emma is urging the Australian Government to recognise the negative impact of industrial animal agribusiness on climate change, and commit to developing a strategy to transition towards more sustainable plant-based food systems.

Anita Krajnc, Plant Based Treaty global campaign coordinator, welcomed the motion. “The IPCC sixth assessment makes clear that we are facing a methane emergency, and a third of those emissions comes from animal agriculture,” she said. “We have five years at best to make major changes or face climate catastrophe. Therefore we applaud the Australian politicians who are asking for political debate in parliament on the need to quickly switch to sustainable plant-based foods. It’s a matter of our survival.”

Why a Plant Based Treaty?

The exploitation of animals for food is a leading cause of climate change, deforestation, water pollution, desertification, ocean acidification, ocean dead zones, ecosystem destruction and species extinction – all of which are major threats to the future of our planet.

The good news is, shifting to more sustainable plant-based food systems offers a restorative pathway for the future of all life on Earth.

This is where the idea of a global Plant Based Treaty comes in. It aims to halt the worsening deforestation caused by animal agriculture, to promote a shift to healthier, sustainable, plant-based diets, and to heal the Earth by restoring key ecosystems.

It’s a grassroots effort modelled on others that have led to international agreements, such as the Montreal protocol banning ozone-depleting substances. By gathering endorsements for a Plant Based Treaty from individuals, charities, businesses, local and city governments, celebrities, and politicians, the goal is to reach a critical mass of support by 2023 so that national governments will come together to adopt its proposals.

Growing momentum

Last week’s motion follows similar calls in the UK, where 14 MPs are seeking parliamentary debate that would bring food system solutions to the policy table. Like its Australian counterpart, the British motion 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”.

At the same time, endorsements of the Plant Based Treaty are growing by the day, as awareness of the campaign gains momentum. From celebrated musicians such as Moby and Leona Lewis to MPs and city councillors around the world, there is an encouraging groundswell of support – including endorsements by the cities of Boynton Beach, Florida and Rosario, Argentina, who recognise the critical role of plant-based diets as a climate action everyone can take.

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At Nourish, we are inspired every day by our community that is awakening to the connection between sustainability and plant-based living. The Plant Based Treaty is the solution the world needs, and we are proud to have endorsed it. You can too, whether as an individual or as a representative of a company or other organisation: plantbasedtreaty.org/endorse.

We've endorsed the Plant Based Treaty

Images: Plant Based Treaty

Catherine Laurence

Cathy is Nourish magazine’s digital editor; a long time vegan, she delights in making vibrant plant-powered living accessible and welcoming to all.

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