Around the world, consumers are leading the way in transitioning towards plant-based proteins. It is now up to policy makers to take the climate crisis seriously and address plant-rich diets as a climate-crisis mitigation strategy in the Paris Agreement.  

What should governments do in the lead up to COP27?

Catering

Are key public institutions and schools serving enough plant-based meal options?

Further Info

Increasing the availability and affordability of plant-based foods is one of the keys to encourage a shift in consumer behaviour. Serving predominantly plant-based foods in canteens and catering helps to establish plant-centric diets as a cultural norm. Several institutions and agencies, including the German Ministry of Environment, have already started walking the talk. What about ministries and government agencies in your country?

Solution

Subsidies and a just transition

Is your government supporting industrial animal agriculture financially?

Further Info

Industrial animal agriculture has expanded massively in the last few decades, essentially because of the huge injection of subsidies that use taxpayers’ money. These subsidies are one of the key obstacles to shifting current food production towards a less resource-intensive model. At the European level, the – promising but insufficient – Farm to Fork Strategy is a first step towards more sustainable farming practices. The consensus on the negative impacts of industrial animal agriculture has grown rapidly over the last few years. Is your government helping farmers transition towards increased production of plant-based protein?

Solution

Support

What about public money for climate-friendly plant-based innovations?

Further Info

Plant-based food innovations have helped many consumers to reduce their intake of animal-sourced protein. This often brings many health benefits and helps reduce food emissions as these plant-based alternatives nearly always have a far lower GHG footprint than animal-based equivalents. Is your government supporting food innovation by providing subsidies and a plant-friendly legislative and economic environment?

Solution

National Dietary Guidelines

Is your government supporting plant-rich guidelines?

Further Info

Food-based dietary guidelines (also known as National Dietary Guidelines) establish a basis for public health and nutrition and fostering healthy habits and lifestyles. These guidelines are occasionally updated to take into account the latest scientific evidence. Do National Dietary Guidelines in your country encourage sustainable and healthy eating, and will they be reviewed in the near future?

Solution

Taxation

Are animal-sourced products fairly taxed when compared to healthy and climate-friendly foods?

Further Info

In order to reduce the consumption of a certain category of products, taxation can be very helpful, as has been shown in the case of tobacco. Currently, some countries have a higher tax rate on processed plant-based products than on meat, thereby indirectly subsidising and supporting less sustainable and more resource-intensive food products (Germany, for example, taxes processed plant-based products at a rate of 19%, while meat is taxed at just 7%). Is your government willing to make animal-sourced products more expensive – thereby reflecting the actual cost of production – while increasing the availability and affordability of plant-based products?

Solution

Labelling

Are the impacts of animal-based products on health, environment, and animal welfare transparently communicated to consumers?

Further Info

Food labelling can help to raise consumers’ awareness about the impact of their lifestyles. It also provides valuable product information to consumers and helps them to make informed and independent purchasing decisions. In some countries, some labelling already exists (Nutriscore etc.). Has your government implemented comprehensive labelling on food products in order to raise consumer awareness about the impact of the food we eat on health, the environment, and animal welfare?

Solution

Climate change doesn’t need to be overwhelming. By shifting to a more plant-based diet, YOU can tackle the climate crisis with your fork today. Take action NOW.

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