Campaign urging councils to go fully plant-based wins support from Camden politicians

Sam Ebner-Landy (standing, in a checkered shirt) addresses councillors. Photograph: courtesy Plant-Based Councils

A campaign to persuade councils to switch to fully plant-based menus has won the backing of a group of influential Camden politicians.

Councillors on the borough’s culture and environment scrutiny committee said they are “100 per cent” behind the move, in response to a deputation from local resident Sam Ebner-Landy.

The campaigner, who is a member of Plant-Based Councils, an offshoot of the Animal Rising campaign, addressed the committee last week.

He told councillors: “Animal grazing and land-clearing has devastated our natural landscape and continues to be the source of harmful emissions and pollution.

“It only makes sense that to reduce emissions and reverse the devastation of our landscape, we must move towards plant-based foods.

“Recent studies have confirmed this, showing that the least sustainable plant-based diet was more environmentally-friendly than the most sustainable meat-eater’s diets in terms of emissions, water and land use, whether they are imported or grown locally, or produced using conventional or organic methods.

“A shift to plant-based eating in high-income nations could cut those nations’ agricultural emissions by 61 per cent and free up land that can be returned to nature and therefore sequester carbon.

“This change in land use would also benefit wildlife, allowing for our precious ecosystems and biodiversity to bounce back.”

The South Hampstead resident added: “The solutions are clear – a move away from meat and dairy is necessary for the council and the country to achieve their net zero targets, prevent further deforestation and halt biodiversity loss.

“What we need now is modelling and leadership from local authorities – from Camden Council – by committing to serve 100 per cent plant-based fare at internal meetings and events.”

So far, Exeter City, Oxford City, Oxfordshire County and Cambridge City councils have signed up to the commitment.

It looks like Camden could soon follow suit after Cllr Awale Olad, who chairs the scrunity committee, responded positively to the deputation.

He told Ebner-Landy: “The committee is 100 per cent behind this. We fully endorse your deputation.”

He added: “We’ll continue to scrutinise this and monitor this and see how the council delivers on this going forwards.”

All councillors on the committee agreed to trial fully plant-based catering at internal council meetings to determine the cost implications for the Town Hall.

It marks a success for Plant-Based Councils, which has made three deputations in Camden in 2023, including another from Ebner-Landy at last month’s full council.

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