On 31/03/23, students at The University of Birmingham voted in favour of a motion proposed by Plant-Based Universities campaigners calling for a 60% plant based guild by the next academic year with a 10% annual increase until 100% .
The result also means The Student’s Guild will also support the campaign to lobby internally, for university-wide, 100% plant-based, and affordable food at the University of Birmingham.
The vote aims to take decisive action on the climate and ecological crises through a just and sustainable transition to 100% plant-based catering.
The vote comes after the students at the Universities of Cambridge, Stirling, and Queen Mary University of London also voted for similar measures in recent months .
In the fourth vote of its kind in the UK, a motion for the university's student guild to go plant-based has passed. Campaigners claim this demonstrates young people’s dedication to clear solutions to the climate and animal emergencies, with 54% of votes being for “yes”.
Ismael Rodriguez Foronda, Plant-Based Universities Birmingham campaigner and the Guild’s Environmental and Ethical Officer-elect, said:
“This vote is a victory for the climate, and a demonstration of an urgent call for systematic change. Students have spoken and said that we must take urgent action against the climate crisis. We hope other universities continue to follow suit.
This motion is a push to secure the future of our planet, to the benefit of all. We fully support farmers, who are increasingly being negatively impacted by climate change themselves. The future of our planet lies in a move away from animal farming toward a plant-based food system and rewilding”
The latest IPCC report has highlighted the need for efficient use of land to tackle the climate and ecological crisis . This would prevent deforestation and allow rewilding to occur, drawing down vast amounts of carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere. According to a 2019 Harvard study, animal farming is the single biggest land user in the UK. The same study stated that better use of this land could make the UK carbon-negative .
A 2018 University of Oxford study also stated that 76% of global farmland would be freed-up for rewilding if a plant-based food system was adopted worldwide. The carbon drawdown potential from this is critical for tackling the climate and ecological crisis, Plant-based Universities claims .
The Plant-Based Universities campaign is a nationwide initiative of students who are pushing for their universities and student unions to adopt 100% plant-based catering . The group claims that universities have an obligation to follow the scientific research that they produce, detailing the environmental impacts of animal farming and fishing. The campaign is active in over 40 institutions, with the group encouraging interested students to sign up to run local campaigns.
The Plant-Based Universities campaign is supported by the well-known animal and climate justice group Animal Rising.
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Notes To Editors:
Queen Mary University of London: https://www.plantbaseduniversities.org/post/queen-mary-university-of-london-students-union-votes-for-plant-based-catering