Campaigners have urged Town Hall bosses to ditch meat at its events to help tackle the climate crisis and encourage others to change their diet for the environment.
South Hampstead resident Sam Ebner-Landy asked Camden Council to offer only plant-based food.
He told councillors the three largest sources of harmful household carbon dioxide emissions in Camden are food, housing and transport.
More than a quarter of food emissions come from meat, but it only provides five per cent of the volume of food Londoners eat, he said.
The increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a driver of climate change.
Ebner-Landy told councillors: “This year we’ve seen devastating wildfires, extreme heat and mass migrations across the world driven by global heating.”
He made a deputation to the full council meeting on Monday 20 November and pointed out that residents told Camden Council in 2019 to ‘encourage low carbon dietary choices’ and ‘green the council’s operations’. It also advises them that eating less meat and dairy produce such as milk and cheese would help cut carbon dioxide emissions.
If Londoners reduced the amount of meat they eat by 70 per cent it would cut the capital’s consumption-based emissions by 20 per cent, according to ReLondon, which is a partnership between the Mayor of London and councils set up to tackle the climate emergency.
Ebner-Landy, who has changed his diet, urged the council to ensure that all food offered at internal meetings and events is totally plant-based.
“Not only will this reduce the council’s emissions, prevent deforestation and reduce wastage of fresh water, it will also encourage residents to take up plant-based eating habits themselves.”
He called on Camden to join councils including Lewisham, Enfield, and Oxfordshire County Council in ditching meat at its events.
He said: “Not only will this reduce the council’s emissions, prevent deforestation and reduce wastage of fresh water, it will also encourage residents to take up plant-based eating habits themselves.”
Ebner-Landy said: “There are many versions of a plant-based diet that are cheaper than eating meat.”
He said lentils are much more affordable than chicken.
“We all know that social change can be slow, but this is a crucial change in our history if we want to secure our future.”
Cllr Adam Harrison, cabinet member for a sustainable Camden, said the council’s food mission aims to see everyone eating healthily.
He said the council offers plant-based food for staff and half of the food at events is also meat-free.
The council’s schools are also opting out of meat on some of their menus, he said.