Plant Based Treaty – “Brighton – Endorse the Plant Based Treaty”

26th April 2023

The Plant Based Treaty an international climate justice organisation, have launched a petition to encourage Brighton Council to follow in the footsteps of Haywards Heath, Edinburgh and Norwich and endorse the Plant Based Treaty as a matter of urgency in response to the growing climate crisis.


People can sign the petition here and are invited to share widely!


Meanwhile The Plant Based Treaty are presenting a whole day of talks at the upcoming VegfestUK Brighton this Saturday April 29th from 11am – entry is free with tickets, accessible here!


3Rs: Why we need a Plant Based Treaty

Host: Robbie Lockie, Plant Based News

Presentation by James O’Toole, communications, Plant Based Treaty

Q&A with James O’Toole, Nicola Harris


The Plant Based Treaty initiative is a grassroots campaign designed to put food systems at the forefront of combating the climate crisis. Modeled on the popular Fossil Fuel Treaty, the Plant Based Treaty aims to halt the widespread degradation of critical ecosystems caused by animal agriculture, to promote a shift to healthier, sustainable plant-based diets, and to reforest and rewild the Earth to restore carbon sinks to absorb carbon from the atmosphere.

The treaty has “3Rs”: 1) Relinquish: Stop the problem increasing through no land use change, including deforestation, for animal agriculture; 2) Redirect: Shift policies to transition to a plant-based food system; and 3) Restore: Reforest the Earth and heal key ecosystems.

Scientists, individuals, groups, businesses and cities are being urged to endorse this call to action in order to pressure national governments to negotiate an international Plant Based Treaty. A second goal is to work with institutions, such as councils, universities, schools, hospitals, care homes, prisons, restaurants, corporations and trains, to implement actionable targets for the Plant Based Treaty that will impact the climate crisis. These include increasing accessibility to plant-based foods, transforming menus to plant-based, introducing plant-based defaults, restoring and rewilding land, and expanding allotment schemes.


R2: The role of cities in the plant-based transition

Host: Robbie Lockie, Plant Based News


Dr Richard Nicholson, Green Councillor, Haywards Heath Town Council
Deanna Nicholson – Green party candidate
James O’Toole – communications


Dr Richard Nicholson, Green Councillor, Haywards Heath Town Council

Richard, you really kicked Plant Based Treaty off in the UK and there was widespread media coverage when Haywards Heath endorsed the Plant Based Treaty. What is the background to the endorsement? Why did you feel it was something to pursue?

Other councils now don’t have the fear of going first, we’ve seen Edinburgh and Norwich follow suit. How can we build on this and see it snowball?

What can councils do to promote plant-based food?

Over 400 councillors in the UK have signed the Plant Based Treaty, with signatories from all parties, why do you think it’s taking off here?

Why do so many cities leave out food emissions in their climate action plans?

Deanna Nicholson – Green party candidate

How can councils engage with businesses to increase plant-based foods on our high streets?

How can we encourage those standing for election to get behind Plant Based Treaty?

How can hospitals, schools and other institutions encourage the public to eat plant-based options? What do we need to see?

How can councils help drive and nudge behavioural change?

James O’Toole – communications

How can someone get their city to sign up? What skills are required?

How did Edinburgh come to endorse the PBT and what are they doing next, what will they implement?

What is Norwich doing following their endorsement?

Tell us about your work with Salford Council?


Join us for an insightful panel discussion on the importance of making sustainable food a priority in council strategies, as highlighted by the Edinburgh City Council’s groundbreaking impact assessment report on the Plant Based Treaty.

Learn how cities and urban consumers contribute to escalating greenhouse emissions beyond their own borders, with nearly 80% of the world’s food consumed in urban areas and food systems accounting for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.

Without focusing on consumption-based emissions, city councils will continue to widely underestimate the environmental and climate impacts of food consumption in their cities and overestimate the importance of local foods. Food consumption needs to be prioritized as highly as buildings, transportation and waste.

Explore the underestimation of environmental and climate impacts of food consumption in cities and the need to prioritize plant-based food consumption alongside buildings, transportation, and waste management. Many cities and towns have jurisdiction over community education, food served in schools, hospitals, prisons and care facilities, as well as street festivals, and city-catered events, meetings and functions.

Hear success stories from the 21 cities that have endorsed the Plant Based Treaty, including Hayward’s Heath, Edinburgh, Norwich and Los Angeles. Be inspired by Edinburgh’s comprehensive 18-page impact assessment and learn how your city can take meaningful steps towards a more sustainable and plant-based future.


R2: Should we introduce a meat tax?

Host: Robbie Lockie, Plant Based News


Keith Lesser from Vegan Accountants
Dr Richard Nicholson, Green Councillor, Haywards Heath Town Council
Deanna Nicholson, Green Party candidate
Nicholas Carter, joining remotely


Keith Lesser from Vegan Accountants

What role can businesses play in pressuring the government to explore the idea of a meat tax?

Should we go further than a Meat Tax? What about dairy for instance, it is a major cause of land use change and environmental degradation.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund)called for a Methane Tax at source to be applied to fossil fuels and animal agriculture? Could we see this taking off?

Dr Richard Nicholson, Green Councillor, Haywards Heath Town Council

The phrase Meat Tax can be seen as quite controversial and may not have political and public support? What should be the semantics of the meat tax? How we frame this tax to the public will be key.

How can we get this policy on the Green Party manifesto, is there support within the party?

Deanna Nicholson, Green Party candidate

What evidence is there that a meat tax will shift consumer behaviour?

Can we learn anything from the UK’s Sugar Tax and apply it to animal products

Nicholas Carter, joining remotely –

Why do we need a meat tax from an environmental perspective?

Are there examples of meat taxes elsewhere, or signs this might happen?

The IMF called for a Methane Tax at source to be applied to fossil fuels and animal agriculture? Could we see this taking off?

Summary: Join us for a thought-provoking panel discussion on whether we need meat taxes to address the climate biodiversity loss and ocean crisis. Explore how the current food system, heavily reliant on animal-based products, exacerbates these global challenges and whether implementing meat taxes is a necessary step towards a greener future.

Hear from experts about the environmental impact of meat production and consumption, including its role in greenhouse gas emissions, habitat destruction, and resource depletion. Learn about the successful implementation of similar taxes in various countries and the potential outcomes.

Watch the discussion on the ethical, economic, and social implications of meat taxes and discover whether these policies can evoke a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system.

R3: Restore Panel

Host: Robbie Lockie, Plant Based News


Rebbeca Ahimsa-Rae from Garden Guardians –
Kerri Waters at Viva!
Piers Warren
Jonathan Barker


If every country had the same food consumption-to-production ratio as the UK, we would need another planet the size of Mercury to feed the world. How can we address agricultural sprawl?

How can we enhance food justice and improve access to healthy food in urban areas

What do you say to critics who say that some land isn’t suitable to be converted to crop growing?

Why is it important for the plant-based food transition to be a veganic transition?


Join us for an enlightening discussion on the role of transitioning to a plant-based food system in environmental restoration, reforestation and ecosystem recovery. Learn from experts and campaigners about the need for a holistic approach to healing our planet, building resilience, and mitigating climate change through nature-based solutions.

Discover the importance of restoring key ecosystems, such as mangroves, peat bogs, forests, grasslands, and seagrass beds, and the role of reforestation projects in carbon sequestration and habitat restoration. Dive into the potential of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) and the conversion of existing Marine Protected Areas to no-fishing zones to address the ocean crisis.

Explore how subsidies and incentives can support farmers and landowners in good land stewardship, rewilding, reforestation, and transitioning from animal agriculture to diversified plant-based food production. Discuss the role of cities in increasing green spaces, wildlife corridors, and local growing schemes to enhance biodiversity and food justice.

Examine strategies for repurposing land, freed up from animal grazing and feed production, for rewilding, nature reserves and community gardens. Delve into the potential of shifting land ownership into community hands for reforestation, green space, and community food projects.

Role of media on reporting on animal agriculture

Host: Robbie Lockie, Plant Based News


Kate Bowen
Klaus Mitchell


Kate Bowen – director, UP studios (effective storytelling using the power of social media, video and animation)

How can we use storytelling to change the narrative on animal agriculture and vegan diets? Give us some examples…

Kate, you worked with Plant Based Treaty for COP26 and designed the huge inflatable cows that made their way into the mass media? How can we use creative actions to attract media attention?

How can we communicate the reality of the climate crisis to the public and motivate them to take action?

Klaus – Plant Based News:

The media rarely talk about animal agriculture’s role in the climate crisis. Why do you think this is? How can we correct this?

What is Plant Based News doing to communicate the need for plant-based solutions to the climate crisis?

How can we counter misinformation online about animal agriculture and plant-based solutions?

Have you seen signs of greenwashing in the mass media when it comes to animal farming? What can we do about it?


Join us for a compelling panel discussion on the role of media in reporting on animal agriculture and its impact on planetary boundaries, public health, and animal protection. Explore how the media can shape public perception, influence policies, and drive a plant-based food-system change.

Hear from journalists, experts, and campaigners as they discuss the challenges and opportunities in reporting on the multifaceted issues surrounding animal agriculture, such as the climate emergency, antibiotic resistance, pandemics, food security, and ethical considerations. Delve into the importance of accurate, balanced, and comprehensive journalism in raising awareness and fostering informed discussions about a transition to a plant-based food system.

Examine the role of different media channels, including print, digital, and social media, in amplifying the message and promoting alternative, sustainable food systems. Learn how to discern reliable information from misinformation, and engage in a dialogue on the responsibility of journalists, influencers, and consumers in shaping the future of animal agriculture.

How do we win a Plant Based Treaty: A Discussion on Community Campaigning and Individual Action

Host: Robbie Lockie, Plant Based News


Josephine Robinson
James O’Toole


Join us for an inspiring panel discussion on how you can contribute to the campaign for a Plant Based Treaty and promote greener, healthier plant-based living in your community. Learn from passionate activists and organizers about the tools, training, and support network provided by the Plant Based Treaty to empower individuals and groups in implementing plant-based solutions at the local level.

In this session, we will explore the demands of the Plant Based Treaty and dive into the available materials and resources to support your campaigning efforts. Learn how to take action including, lobby elected officials and promote plant-based menus, and establish rewilding initiatives, orchards, and community kitchen gardens.

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, learn valuable strategies for effective campaigning, and contribute to the momentum building for a global Plant Based Treaty.