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BANES Council Urged To Go 100% Plant-Based To Show Climate Leadership



  • On 25/04/24 at the Guildhall, local residents and supporters of the Plant-Based Councils campaign unfurled a banner asking Bath and North East Somerset Council to ensure that all food and drink provided at council meetings and events is 100% plant-based [1].

  • A similar large-scale banner drop also happened in Leeds yesterday and similar actions are set to take place in multiple locations, including Birmingham, Bristol and London, over the next few days in the lead up to the local elections on the 02/05/24. 

  • This year, farmers predict the worst harvest since the Second World War due to extremely wet weather as a result of the climate emergency [2].

  • Other UK councils have already made commitments to 100% plant-based catering, such as Exeter City, Oxfordshire County, Oxford City and Cambridge City [3].  

Bath residents gathered at the Guildhall on 25/04/24 as a way of calling on BANES Council to show climate leadership by switching to 100% plant-based catering in their own internal meetings and events. The group is the latest team to be set up as part of the national Plant-Based Councils campaign. They posed with a banner reading “Plant-Based Councils” to call on the council to back the campaign.


Mathew Thomas, a local resident from Bath, said at the event:

“BANES Council declared a climate and ecological emergency over four years ago now and its primary focus so far has centred on lowering transport emissions [4]. We are here to highlight the serious impact our food choices have on the climate and environment. Animal agriculture is responsible for more emissions than the entire transportation industry combined. BANES have said they will ‘lead by example’ on climate, so they have a responsibility to act. Going plant-based is an instant win for the planet [5].”


In July last year, a new study was published by Oxford University researchers which found that a plant-based diet has 70% less environmental impact than a high-meat diet. A high-meat diet produces four-times the amount of greenhouse gases, requires four-times as much land, and double the amount of water [6]. Transitioning to plant-based catering is therefore a key way BANES Council can live up to their promises of leading by example on climate. 


A 10m banner was also unfurled outside the Council building in Leeds on the same day by another local campaigning group. Many more are planned in other areas, including Bristol, Birmingham and London, over the coming days in the lead up to the local elections happening throughout the country on the 2nd May. 



Plant-Based Councils campaigners outside Leeds City Council on 25/04/24.


Plant-Based Councils, an Animal Rising campaign, is a national initiative of local residents who are pushing for their councils to adopt 100% plant-based catering. The group claims that local authorities have a responsibility to follow the current scientific consensus, which acknowledges the environmental, health and cost benefits of plant-based meals over those containing meat and dairy. The campaign is active in over 45 councils, with the group encouraging interested residents to sign up to run a local campaign by visiting their website www.plantbasedcouncils.org


ENDS.


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For more information or further comments, please contact press@plantbasedcouncils.org 


NOTES TO EDITORS:


[1]  The Plant-Based Councils campaign aims to address the climate emergency starting with the food on our plates. Working with councils across the UK to encourage them to lead the way in the switch from emission heavy foods to plant-based ones that are better for health, our planet and reducing the impact from the cost of living crisis.   



Oxfordshire County Council votes to serve fully plant-based food at all council-catered events  https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/plant-based-food/ 

Exeter City Council votes to serve 100% plant-based food at catered meetings https://news.exeter.gov.uk/council-pledges-to-raise-awareness-of-the-benefits-of-plant-based-food/ 

Cambridge City Council votes to serve 100% plant-based food at catered meetings https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=5423




[6] Study into the environmental impact of various diets, Oxford University, published July 2023: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-023-00795-w 

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