Los Angeles has adopt a resolution in support of the global Plant Based Treaty initiative.
The city’s council voted in favour of the move, which marks a significant change of direction for its representatives.
Council member Paul Koretz said: “This landmark resolution marks a vital cultural shift as Americans prioritise both combating climate change and improving their health.”
Mr Koretz, together with fellow member Marqueece Harris-Dawson, introduced the resolution last month.
“As over 2,200 municipalities did with climate emergency declarations, I invite other cities to join us and endorse the Plant Based Treaty,” he said.
The treaty has three core principles – relinquish, redirect and restore – and 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.
The decision was made just ahead of the annual C40 World Mayors Summit last week in Buenos Aires.
Los Angeles is the second C40 city to endorse the Plant Based Treaty following Buenos Aires’ decision to back it during the summer.
In addition to their support for the Los Angeles resolution, council members Koretz and Nithya Raman have personally endorsed the global Plant Based Treaty.
Journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell said the Los Angles vote could influence how other cities responded.
“LA is historically known to lead the nation in environmental trends,” she said.
“What happens in LA spreads to the rest of the world.”
Ellen Dent, President of Animal Alliance Network, praised the council, saying: “By passing the Plant Based Treaty Resolution, LA City council members are upholding their promise of making the shift towards preventative climate change policy so directly needed for their constituents and beyond.”
California is home to the country’s largest dairy industry, with 1,400 dairies and about 1.7 million cows.
According to the California Air Resources Board, which has a methane research programme, animal farming is responsible for more than half of California’s methane emissions.
“Earth’s clock is at 100 seconds to midnight,” said PawPAC Chair René Rowland.
“The impacts of climate change are upon us, and we are already experiencing its devastating effects. The importance of every locality joining to reverse this crisis cannot be stressed enough.”
Just beating LA to the post was the Didim Council, which on October 14 became the first town in Turkey to join the Plant Based Treaty initiative.
The endorsement comes a year after Turkey ratified the Paris climate agreement, the last G20 country to do so.
Ahmet Deniz Atabay, Mayor of Didim, said: “We are aware of the seriousness of the climate crisis and we believe that the Plant Based Treaty campaign will make a positive contribution towards solutions to this crisis.”
Climate campaigners in Turkey are now calling on other towns and cities to follow Didim’s lead and help create a council-led movement.
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