First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been invited to enter Scotland into the Plant Based Treat by the City of Edinburgh Council.

The City of Edinburgh Council has become the first Scottish city and first capital in Europe to join the Plant Based Treaty mission and endorse its strategy to tackle food-related emissions from animal agriculture.

The Treaty was first introduced to a Full Council Meeting by Green Councillor Steve Burgess in March 2022; at the meeting councillors unanimously voted to create an impact statement assessing the implications of endorsing the Treaty. “Edinburgh council … has a fantastic opportunity to encourage far more plant-based eating and I look forward to the forthcoming council report on how we can do that,” Burgess said. “By declaring our endorsement, we are acknowledging that food systems are a main driver of the climate emergency and that a shift towards plant-based diets can go a huge way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Plant-rich diets are also a ‘win-win-win’ for society; they have a lower environmental impact, significant health benefits and reduce animal welfare impacts.”

The impact assessment report was published this month and presented at the Policy and Sustainability Committee. “Diets high in plant protein and low in meat and dairy make for lower greenhouse gas emissions,” the reports states. “Consequently, shifting consumption towards plant-based diets has a major mitigation potential. Overall, the science is clear, meat and dairy consumption must reduce to achieve climate targets.”

Edinburgh has lived up to its reputation as a global climate leader

Food and diet account for 23% of Edinburgh’s consumption-based footprint, according to the report; 12% of these emissions are generated by meat consumption. “A shift to plant-based diets would therefore significantly reduce the city’s consumption-based emissions,” the report notes.

As part of a number of amendments to the report, tabled by the Green Group, it was proposed that a letter be sent to Sturgeon, encouraging the Scottish Government to follow suit and endorse the Treaty. The amendment passed with 12 votes to five with support from the Greens, the Scottish National Party and Labour.

Nicola Harris, communications director at Plant Based Treaty, comments: “Edinburgh has lived up to its reputation as a global climate leader by acknowledging the critical need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the food system to achieve our climate targets. Promoting plant-based food across Edinburgh will help residents make informed choices that are better for the planet, personal health and animal protection.”

Previous articleNatural Spa Factory unveils ab:scent gift set
Next articleNatural Beauty Retail Awards: enter now
Having spent the early part of career putting her BA (Hons) in Media Writing to use as a freelancer writer across a number of industries – from wellbeing, food and travel to design and events – Rosie Greenaway’s post as editor of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News began in 2017. In 2018 she co-launched NPN’s 30 under 30 initiative, is a regular presenter and speaker on industry panels, is a judge of several awards schemes in food and beauty (from the Soil Association’s BOOM Awards to the Who’s Who in Green Beauty Scandinavia) and acts as an Advisory Board Member for the Sustainable Beauty Coalition.