Meat off the menu in Scotland’s capital

Should we all be vegetarians? The city of Edinburgh has signed an agreement to move
away from meat-eating and farming animals, the first European capital to do so.

So long sausages! Bye bye burgers! Farewell smoked salmon! The city of Edinburgh is done with you. The Scottish capital has signed the Plant-Based Treaty. This is an initiative to slash carbon emissions by cutting back on meat and dairy products.

Food production makes up about 37% of global CO2 emissions. More than half of that is from meat. To make 100 grams of beef protein creates 49.8kg of CO2 equivalent, but producing the same amount of tofu creates only 1.9kg.

One study suggests that even if we stopped burning fossil fuels straight away, we would still see more than 1.5C of warming, just because of food production.

Signing the treaty means the city council promises to take steps to stop the growth of animal farming. It also means that the city will look to provide more plant-based meals in schools, and add carbon-labels to food.

Los Angeles in the USA has already signed the treaty. But this is the first European capital to sign.

Some have criticised the move for restricting people’s choices. The council points out that the treaty is not binding. They are not banning anything, they say,
but the climate emergency means some things will have to change.

Even Scotland’s national dish, haggis, might have to make way for a veggie option.