Fridays for Future and Youth Climate Save activists call for a global Plant Based Treaty at COP26
Youth activists including Genesis Butler (US), Greta Cuthell (Australia) and Fridays for Future activists Natasha Krywenki (Argentina), Sofía Vergara (Argentina), Tanmayi Shinde (India), Pratik Ankush (India), Elisa Pedruzzi (Italy) and hundreds of others from 33 countries call for global Plant Based Treaty backed by climate influencer Mikaela Loach to address the methane emergency and avoid climate catastrophe.
The open letter states that failure to address animal agriculture along with fossil fuels means we will not be able to keep the hope of 1.5C alive. Current projections show that we are on track to reach 1.5C warming around the year 2030 and 2C by 2040 and that the youth of today are inheriting a world that is burning, flooding and melting.
The proposed Plant Based Treaty is critically needed to address the climate, ocean, biodiversity and animal crisis and calls for a fair and just transition to a plant-based economy.
Genesis Butler (USA), founder of Youth Climate Save said, “It’s not enough to just stop the fossil fuel industry from their destructive practices, but we must also stop the animal agriculture industry. We will be able to stay below a 1.5 degree Celsius rise in temperature but this will only happen if we demand an end to animal agriculture.”
Bee Labutale (UK), from Youth Climate Save North Wales said, “We need to shift our food system to one that is better for our public health, our vulnerable people and other animals. Even if we stopped emissions from fossil fuels right now, emissions from food production alone would take us well beyond the carbon budget for 1.5°C.”
Despite this, climate negotiations at COP26 have not acknowledged the impact of animal agriculture on the climate and ecological crisis, and plant-based solutions have been left out of the methane and deforestation pledges.
Veronica Mulenga from Youth Climate Save Zambia said, “World leaders need to recognize that our global food system is broken and a switch to a plant-based food system is crucial to combat the climate crisis.”
The open letter outlines the youth’s call to world leaders, calling for a Plant Based Treaty, laying out a binding global plan with three core principles:
- Relinquish – Committing to no land use change, ecosystem degradation or deforestation for the purpose of animal agriculture.
- Redirect – Actively transitioning away from animal based food systems to more sustainable plant-based food systems. As well as:
- Restore – Actively restoring key ecosystems and reforesting the Earth.
The open letter, publicly released at COP26, sees youth activists join scientists including Bill Ripple, IPCC expert reviewer Peter Carter from the Climate Emergency Institute, 450 civil society groups, 300 businesses and two cities (Boynton Beach in Florida and Rosario in Argentina) in a call to action.
The treaty is also backed by 18 MPs in parliament in an Early Day Motion as well as journalist George Monbiot, Michael Mansfield QC and a whole host of celebrities including Paul, Stella, and Mary McCartney, Moby, Joaquin Phoenix, Ela Gandhi, Roony Mara, Jerome Flynn and Peter Egan.
The full letter and list of signatories is available at https://plantbasedtreaty.org/youth-letter/