Final climate action window set to close


The sixth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a colossal work over eight years compiled data by the world’s leading climate scientists from around the globe, ends with a bitter clear language: “There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future of all … at the latest before 2025.”

While the IPCC has warned for three decades in their follow-up climate assessments, not heeding, taking it too lightly and waiting on others to act, has brought us to where we are: at a crossroad with a very narrow window to ward off dire long-lasting effects and an increasing cataclysm with zero option of reversal! Is that really what we want?

While various efforts have been made to reduce greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and deforestation, some have dwindled down due to economic reasons, military conflicts, humanitarian needs, inflation, societal and geopolitical shifts. While the focus was always primarily on fossil fuels and CO2, one of the large contributors to the climate warming and environmental destruction has been kept far too long out of the viewpoint, which is: our food system, and especially traditional animal farming, which counts for about 30% of greenhouse gases. Another thing has been missed as well: To educate people better and with the clear message that this is a call on each and every U.S. and world resident!

The Plant Based Treaty, that my husband and I proposed to the Delaware City Council in February 2023, is a much needed tool to target both missing actions, as well as put accountability into place for especially cities as they have a variety of tools at hand to move things quicker from the bottom up, including educating their residents.

The Plant Based Treaty has 40 proposals, with the first three being the basic and very easily actionable ones, yet with impactful and quick effects. Those three proposals are the ones that cities, organizations, businesses and individuals agree to put into action once they sign the treaty. All other proposals can, or better, should be added down the road.

The three main proposals, or goals, are:

1. To halt the expansion of traditional animal agriculture and so stop the problem increasing, as well as help farmers transition to plant focused farms as we urgently need these kind of farms.

2. To take on role-model function by going plant-based oneself and then invite and educate others to do likewise for all the reasons there are. This is especially a responsibility as well as great opportunity for cities, organizations, and businesses as they have many official events and dinners. Cities are cardinal in this as they have extra tools at hand to promote the needed education, motivate businesses and organizations with incentives, and put recommendations and regulations out to schools, colleges, hospitals, etc.

3. To restore and build resilience by planting as many native trees as we can for taking up CO2, providing shade and oxygen. Planting lots of pollinator friendly native flowers, shrubs and trees to bring up the strongly declined number of pollinators, especially bees, as they are key for growing a large number of vegetables, fruits, herbs and grains. Revive ecosystems with regenerative soil management, switching from harmful pesticides to organic ones, and re-naturalize eco-systems such as swamps.

Be part of the problem solvers by joining us for the Plant Based Treaty public presentation at the Delaware Main Library on April 20 to learn more on this pressing topic and to get 10 Plant Based Treaty & Save the Planet Tips! Register at [email protected].

Rita Selle-Grider is founder of Vegans Delaware OH and the Plant Based Treaty organizer for Delaware.

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