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Amsterdam becomes first EU capital to endorse global plant based treaty

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Amsterdam has become the first capital city in the EU to endorse calls for a global Plant Based Treaty, which proposes addressing the impact of the food system on climate change by shifting towards a more plant-based diet.

In a statement, the City of Amsterdam Council acknowledged that the food system has “a significant impact on the health of people and animals and contributes to the climate crisis”. It has set out plans to shift the protein ratio in the city’s diet from 40 to 60 percent plant-based by 2030, saying that the municipality “takes responsibility to drive changes in the food system, ensuring that all residents of Amsterdam have access to healthy, fair, sustainable, and affordable food and drinks”.

The council has also adopted a motion tabled by the Party for the Animals, which calls for Amsterdam to become a “Plant-Based Capital”. This could include steps such as:

  • Having plant-based meals available at all publically funded institutions from this year
  • A Vegan Friday initiative at public institutions
  • A commitment for caterers to serve 60% plant-based protein, in line with the ratio set out by the council
  • Organising an annual plant-based conference for public institutions.

Climate action leadership

25 municipal governments worldwide have now endorsed the Plant Based Treaty, including Los Angeles and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Just weeks ago, the UK town of Exmouth also joined, while the London borough of Lambeth called for the treaty in October 2023.

Amsterdam previously made a commitment to plant-based diets in 2021, when it laid out plans to encourage citizens to be 50% plant-based by 2030. At the time, the city council said it would increase the availability of sustainable, healthy food in vulnerable neighbourhoods and around public buildings such as schools.

“Amsterdam has demonstrated their climate action leadership as the first EU capital to endorse the Plant Based Treaty,” said Lea Goodett, Plant Based Treaty Netherlands. “We urge more cities to sign up to address food system impacts on the climate emergency. The introduction of plant-based food initiatives like Vegan Fridays will make sustainable plant-based food accessible to all, which will improve our health as well as strengthen food security. Everyone can take part by emailing their city council inviting them to follow Amsterdam’s great example.”

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