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Leeds City Council Pressured To Take Climate Action And Go 100% Plant-Based



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

  • Campaigners also asked for members of the Councils’ Climate Emergency Advisory Committee to meet with them to discuss promoting plant-based diets as a response to the climate crisis.

  • Similar actions are planned around the country, including in Bristol, London, York, Sheffield.

  • 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].  

Residents gathered at Leeds Civic Hall on 25/04/25 to call on Leeds City Council to take climate action on food by ensuring that all food and drink provided at internal council events is 100% plant-based as part of their response to the climate emergency. They also called on members of the councils’ Climate Emergency Advisory Committee to meet with them to discuss promoting plant-based diets as a response to the climate crisis.


They unfurled a banner reading “Plant-Based Councils - Climate Action on Food” and called on their council to back the campaign.

Lynda Kinnard, 71, retired school teacher said at the event:

“Everyone now accepts there is a climate emergency,but not many link it to the food we eat. Animal Agriculture is unsustainable and responsible for harmful emissions, pollution, major water use and land degradation. We can all make a significant contribution towards halting/stopping this if we all changed our diet to plant-based.”

The council has a goal of ensuring the city is carbon neutral by 2030. Campaigners argue that this can only be achieved if diets in the city change, and that the council has an important role to play in promoting this change. 

In 2018, comprehensive research from the University of Oxford showed that 76% of the land currently used for food production would be freed-up by a global transition to plant-based production [4]. This land could be rewilded and begin carbon drawdown, mitigating the worst impacts of climate breakdown.

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.


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



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