Plant Based Treaty

Interview: Nicola Harris, Plant Based Treaty

Nicola Harris

Tell us about Plant Based Treaty

Climate campaigners are asking for national governments to negotiate and implement a global Plant Based Treaty as a companion to the Paris Agreement based on 3R principles: Relinquish, Redirect and Restore. The goal is to transition towards a healthy plant-based food system that allows us to live within our planetary boundaries.

Through our first principle, Relinquish, we aim to freeze the expansion of animal agriculture by stopping any land use change, including deforestation for the purpose of animal agriculture.

Our second principle, Redirect involves promoting plant-based foods and actively transitioning away from animal-based food systems towards a plant-based system. This could involve redirection of subsidies and taxation as well as public information campaigns about the co-benefits of a plant-based diet for the planet, health, and animal protection.

Our third principle, Restore, focuses on restoring degraded ecosystems, and carbon sinks through reforestation as well as returning land to communities in order to create community gardens, orchards, and allotments to enhance food accessibility and security.

A shift towards a plant-based food system would allow us to halt agricultural sprawl and free up land. The more progress we make on R1 and R2, the greater opportunity there will be to implement R3 and mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.

Which groups are involved in signing the Plant Based Treaty?

Almost 1000 groups have signed the Plant Based Treaty, including the Climate Emergency Institute, Oceanic Preservation Society, Fridays For Future Digital, ProVeg International, Viva!, A Well Fed World, and chapters of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Extinction Rebellion

How do you get the word out concerning the Plant Based Treaty?

Plant Based Treaty Launch, COP26 in Glasgow
Plant Based Treaty Launch, COP26 in Glasgow

Plant Based Treaty teams across the world are spreading the Plant Based Treaty message in their communities by collecting endorsements from individuals, groups, and businesses. They are building partnerships and coalitions, taking the message to climate marches, and rallying at city halls.

Which cities from which countries have signed on to the Plant Based Treaty, and the significance of this?

Plant Based Treaty Outreach in Antalya
Plant Based Treaty Outreach in Antalya

19 cities have so far endorsed the call for a Plant Based Treaty, including towns and cities in Argentina, India, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Didim in Turkey is the latest town to endorse the Plant Based Treaty, and the largest city is  Buenos Aires. Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to pass a Plant Based Treaty Resolution on 18 October, and if Mayor Garcetti signs off on the Resolution they will become the 20th city worldwide to endorse.

How does the Plant Based Treaty tie in with the Paris Agreement, and how is it enforceable?

This is a do-or-die decade for the planet. The Paris agreement is silent on both fossil fuels and animal agriculture. We need both a Fossil Fuel Treaty and Plant Based Treaty adopted as legally binding companion treaties in order to focus on the two largest causes of global heating. 

Will you attend the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP27, to be held from 6 to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, to get the word out concerning the Plant Based Treaty?

Plant Based Treaty campaigners will be heading to COP27 in Egypt in November. We will be distributing new position papers which detail the overwhelming scientific case for the urgent need to transition to a plant-based food system this decade.

Along with our debut position paper Appetite for a Plant Based Treaty? we will release new papers on soil, methane, and regenerative agriculture. You will also find us at the Food Pavillion in the Blue Zone, where we will be hosting a side event called Why We Need a Plant Based Treaty?

The Plant Based Treaty team will be hosting a climate bookshelf at COP27 where we will be promoting three game-changing books everyone must read: Regenesis by George Monbiot, Storms of My Grandchildren by James Hansen, and Our House is on Fire by Greta Thunberg.

Award winning artist and author Selva Ozelli was invited to prepare art shows series titled “Love Someday” that will launch at COP27 as part of the Global Resilience Partnership Platform to draw attention to the Plant Based Treaty. The ancient Egyptians cultivated various roses which came to symbolize love. The multicolored purple, pink, yellow, and white roses on fire in her art shows reminds us to avert, minimize, and address biodiversity loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of climate change.

Love Someday by Selva Ozelli

How can people reach you?

Endorse plant based treaty

Visit to sign the Plant Based Treaty as an individual, group, business, or city. Once you sign up, you are invited to join our communications channel on Slack, where we can work together to campaign for a Plant Based Treaty and implement plant-based projects across the world.

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