London’s Enfield Council Bans Meat for the Climate Crisis
Enfield Borough Council's meat ban takes effect in December.
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London’s Enfield Borough Council just banned meat to help fight the climate crisis.

The council announced the ban as part of its 2020 climate action plan. In a 40-page document, the council outlined its action items, which includes no longer serving meat at any of its events.

Starting in December, when the ban takes effect, all of the council’s events where catering is provided will only serve vegan or vegetarian options.

“Our planet is facing an existential threat from climate change,” Enfield Councillor Ian Barnes said in the document.

He continued: “The emergency is real and the action to remedy it must be local, national, and global. In response to rising awareness and justified protest, Enfield Council has declared a climate emergency.”

Agriculture is currently responsible for nine percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. The council’s meat ban follows similar measures taken by Cambridge University and Goldsmiths. Both institutions banned red meat from campus menus in order to help combat climate change.

Enfield’s Commitment to Sustainability

In addition to going plant-based, Enfield Borough Council made a number of other sustainability commitments.

Barnes explained that the initial plan would be for the council to reduce its emissions. The council aims to be carbon neutral by 2030. “But we must innovate to do this, taking bold and sometimes unpopular action to tackle the impact of climate change,” he said.

He continued: “We already have a track record of driving emissions down as an organisation and influencing better behaviour across the borough, but more is needed.”

Barnes said the council aims to switch to renewable energy and convert its fleet to 100 percent electric by 2030.

Additionally, the council will actively work to reduce emissions via borough-wide activities like transportation, waste management, and housing. It plans on making the entire borough carbon neutral by 2040.

Last summer, the council signed a Climate Emergency Pledge. As part of the pledge, it committed to divesting from fossil fuel companies. The council also said it would only use environmentally friendly products when able to do so. And it agreed to make its supply chain carbon neutral through “ethical procurement.”