Belfast third European capital city to endorse Plant Based Treaty

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The treaty campaigns for a shift towards healthier and more sustainable plant-based diets. Credit: Getty / Yagi Studio
The treaty campaigns for a shift towards healthier and more sustainable plant-based diets. Credit: Getty / Yagi Studio

Related tags Sustainability

Belfast has become just the third European capital and the first city in Ireland to endorse the Plant Based Treaty.

The motion was first introduced by Foodstock founder and West Belfast Councillor Paul Doherty on 28 March 2024, with the city unanimously agreeing to the endorsement this month (April 2024).

The Plant Based Treaty asks cities to recognise the need to put food systems at the heart of combating the climate crisis, while also encouraging a shift towards sustainable plant-based diets and simultaneously working to reverse the damage to ecosystems and biodiversity.

Belfast City Council will now write to the Northern Ireland Assembly to call for a further endorsement of the Plant Based Treaty and for a greater commitment to transitioning further towards more sustainable plant-based food systems.

The Belfast Sustainable Food Partnership – a cross-sector partnership of 27 organisations from across business, community, government and academia – is also developing a food strategy, and Councillor Doherty hopes that much of what has been outlined within the Plant Based Treaty will be considered when forming plans going forward.

Belfast is the 27th city and town worldwide to make the endorsement, a list which includes Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Los Angeles.

“We have made real progress with Belfast becoming a Right To Food city and securing funding for breakfast clubs and other initiatives, and I believe adopting the Plant Based Treaty is an important next step,”​ said Councillor Doherty.

Meanwhile, Plant Based Treaty cities campaigner Andrew Garner added: “As the capital of Northern Ireland, and the third European capital to endorse Plant Based Treaty this is a significant milestone in putting food emissions front and centre of climate action planning.

“It is time for more cities, along with their institutions and businesses, to address food impacts on the climate crisis and food security by developing plant-based food strategies and public education to help communities increase consumption of plant-based food.”

The Plant Based Treaty is modelled on the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and since its launch in August 2021, the initiative has received support from 150,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, and more than 3000 groups and businesses, including Veganuary, Ecotricity, Linda McCartney Foods, Plant Based Health Professionals, UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, and chapters of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

In other news, Calbee Group UK has announced plans to invest £12m in its Seabrook Crisps manufacturing facility in Bradford after gaining planning permission.

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